Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a pathology characterized by a airflow limitation a product of abnormalities caused by exposure to harmful gases, the most common of which smoke is.
Although less frequent, bronchial asthma (the most common chronic respiratory disease) has an eight-fold higher mortality rate. It should be noted that this is a common, preventable and cure condition, and its prevalence is directly related to smoking, although other factors such as smoke, history of respiratory infections in childhood or exposure to other types of gases are considered in other developing countries.
Epidemiological studies a few years ago showed that around 350 million people in the world have COPD – corresponding to the prevalence of 11% of the world's population – and that this disease causes about three million deaths per year (5, 6% of world deaths), which places it as the fourth the cause of death worldwide.
In addition, the number of cases from the estimated value of 149 million items in 2005 to 174.5 million in 2015 is increasing in the world, which means an increase of the overall prevalence of 17%. If this trend continues, it is expected that the 2030th figure will rise to 4.5 million deaths.
As far as Argentina is concerned, the only study that has provided this information is COPD.AR. According to the results, this disease has 14.5% prevalence in the local population older than 40 years and occurs in men (18%) than in women (11%).
Of the interviewed population, 70% had a history of active smoking or ex-smokers and in a non-smoking population, 8% showed COPD prevalence in relation to past passive smoking history, pulmonary tuberculosis or bronchial asthma in poorly controlled childhood.
On the other hand, a high correlation rate has been found, as only 22% of the patients diagnosed in this study are known as COPD patients.
"Possibility of COPD should be suspected in any patient older than 40 with a history of smoking that has smoked more than 10 packets per year and has chronic respiratory symptoms such as dyspnoea or usually morning cough and coughing," said the pulmonologist. Gastón De Stefano.
A neuroscientific expert at Buenos Aires (Ineba) insisted that "it's important to consider smoking smashing their symptoms, so their strict surveillance must be done to all smokers of 40 years."
To diagnose COPD, spirometry is the most commonly used method. It consists of a study that allows the detection of obstacles to the constant air flow and can therefore stand from mild to very severe.
"There are various pharmacological options for treatment short-acting or prolonged bone-co-catalysts and inhaled corticosteroids, as well as other measures that help alleviate the disease, "said an expert. There are also innovative treatments who are still in the experimental stage, although none of them treats or changes the course of the disease, only relieves the symptoms and reduces the frequency of deterioration. "
Apart from drugs, what can be taken to cure COPD? "To begin with, the main thing is to stop smoking, this is the most effective measure, delaying the function of the lungs and improving survival, changing the course of the illness," summarized De Stefano, who also recommended:
– Do not use electronic cigarettes to stop smoking. It is important to clarify that although many people use them, the Society of Pneumonics forbids these drugs as a method of smoking cessation because they have toxins and maintain habit.
– Practice regularly. It can be gymnastics, sports or walks. And in smoking, rather than, the movement reduces the risk of developing the disease in the future. For those patients who endure symptoms after exhaustion of all therapeutic measures, rehabilitation programs may be indicated, which should then continue with home exercises.
– Jedi good. Maintain a varied and balanced diet (nutritional supplements are not recommended) and good hydration.
– Vaccination It has been shown that annual influenza suppression flu lessens exacerbation. In turn, patients aged 65 and younger at this age but with advanced stages of illness should receive a pneumococcal vaccine.
"The current trend is individualized management of patients with COPD, using different pharmacological strategies in each patient according to their symptoms, but not forgetting the most important general measure that must be applied to all patients – changing the evolution and prognosis of the disease that has ceased smoking. high pod-diagnosis rate and the limited use of spirometry as a screening method is a necessary health strategy for greater awareness of the disease in the population, "concluded the pulmonologist.
regarding World COPD Day, which is being celebrated today, will be held until November 30th free spirometry in Mautalen Health and Research. To request a transfer, please check out Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm on (011) 4514-3400 or personally at Azcuénaga 1860, 1st floor, CABA.