November 18: World COPD Day

Every year, the World COPD Day is celebrated on November 18. COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The disease obstructs the airflow in lungs. Thus it hampers the ability of the infected person to carry out day to day activities.

The World COPD day is observed to increase awareness about the chronic inflammatory lung condition. This year, the day is celebrated under the theme

Theme: Living Well with COPD-Everybody, Everywhere.

COPD in India

According to a Lancet study, in 2016, India contributed to 32% of the world COPD. Of this, 75.6% were asthma patients. The number of COPD patients in India has increased from 28.1 million in 1990 to 55.3 million in 2016. The states such as Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of COPD cases.

Reasons for high COPD in India

The three main reasons for the high number of COPD occurrence is air pollution, occupational risks and tobacco use. Of the all the COPD cases in India, 53.7% were due to air pollution, 25.4% were due to tobacco use and 16.5% were due to occupational risks.

What is COPD?

COPD is a condition that causes damage to the air sacs in lungs. It leads to inflammation of the lining of the bronchia tubes that carry air from and to the lungs.

The main symptoms of COPD are breathing difficulties, wheezing, chronic cough, selling in legs, ankle, feet.

Who organizes World COPD Day?

The World COPD day is organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Disease. The first World COPD day was marked in 2002.

Significance

It is important to increase the awareness about COPD as it causes a greater number of deaths than TB, AIDS and Malaria. India has become the neglected COPD capital of the world. Till 2010, COPD was considered as the smokers’ disease. However, this scenario has changed due to increased air pollution.

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