Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lung societies plead for better health care

Lung diseases affect many people
worldwide, experts say.
Experts from the world's leading lung organizations have come together to call for a worldwide effort to improve health-care policies and systems and care delivery to make a positive difference for the lung health of the world.

Produced by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), the report has been launched on World COPD Day, Nov. 20, providing an overview of lung health across the globe.

Entitled Respiratory Diseases in the World: Realities of Today — Opportunities for Tomorrow, the report features five major disease areas that are of immediate and greatest concern. This includes COPD, which is the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide.

"This report aims to heighten awareness of lung disease throughout the world. We hope that this collaboration will help to shed light on the pervasiveness of these conditions and diseases and will be a call to action for health-care professionals, policy makers, patients, and advocates," said Michael H. Baumann, MD, MS, FCCP, President, American College of Chest Physicians.

Some of the key issues highlighted in this publication include the following:
  • COPD affects more than 200 million people and is the fourth-leading cause of death in the world.
  • Asthma affects about 235 million people worldwide, is one of the most frequent reasons for hospital admissions among children, and leads to approximately 180,000 deaths each year.
  • Respiratory infections account for over 4 million deaths annually, disproportionately in children, and are the leading cause of death in low-income or middle-income countries.
  • TB kills around 1.4 million people with about 8.7 million new cases of TB annually.
  • Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world, accounting for 13% of the total reported cancers and affecting over 1.6 million people annually.

Provide cleaner air for those with respiratory ailments

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