Pulmonary diseases on the rise worldwide

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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, February 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Lung diseases have affected more people worldwide in the past 30 years, new research shows.

And being from poor regions is the most important risk factor for respiratory problems, the scientists added.

According to the analysis of data from 195 countries, aging and risk factors such as smoking, pollution and overweight / obesity are among the other important risk factors for chronic lung diseases.

Researchers led by Dr. Min Xie, from the Tongji School of Medicine and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, discovered that the number of deaths from chronic lung diseases has increased 18% in the last three decades, from 3.3 million in 1990 to 3.9. million in 2017.

The number of deaths increased with age and increased considerably among people 70 years of age or older, and this age-related burden is likely to increase as the world population ages, the researchers noted.

The most common chronic pulmonary diseases are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, but others such as pneumoconiosis (lung disease due to dust inhalation), interstitial lung disease and pulmonary sarcoidosis (due to lung scars and inflammation ) are also public health problems. all over the world.

The study was published on February 19 in the BMJ diary.

In general, the highest rates of lung disease are found in the poorest regions of the world. The lowest rates in the richest countries are because people have better access to health services and better treatments, said Xie and her colleagues.

Smoking is the main risk factor for death and disability due to COPD and asthma. In 2017, smoking accounted for 1.4 million deaths.

The impact of smoking was particularly strong in the poorest areas, demonstrating the urgent need to improve tobacco control in developing countries, the study authors said.

Airborne particulate contamination was the next most important risk factor for COPD.

Obesity accounted for the majority of asthma deaths since 2013, particularly in women.

"As the prevalence of obesity continues to increase at a worrying rate worldwide, weight loss should be included in the treatment of obese patients with asthma," the researchers wrote in a journal press release.

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SOURCE:BMJ, press release, February 19, 2020

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