Market News

 December 24, 2014
COPD to become leading cause of deaths in Pakistan.

 The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is likely to cause more deaths than any other disease in the country as it has direct association with smoking and pollution. Dr. Anjum Naveed Jamal, Assistant Professor & Head of Pulmonology Department Multan Institute of Cardiology said that non availability of data on COPD related deaths in the country is additionally causing this disease to increase at a rapid pace without being noticed, COPD patient who could be managed through proper medication often gets ignored and labeled with other respiratory diseases, hence Pakistani health professionals do not have an insight due to lack of data collection.

He added that pollution particles including smoke, dirt, mould or pollen and their fine size are the biggest risks to human health as they can easily be inhaled and stuck in the respiratory system. The country's social set up, standard of living, illiteracy, practice of self medication and unawareness along with exposure to air pollution is a big risk factor for developing COPD, he mentioned and added.

That although, smokers are at more risk but they can also harm other people as well by sitting in a gathering and creating pollution for non-smokers. Similarly, air pollution is another risk factor for non-smokers and it is as dangerous as smoking. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) indoor air pollution resulting from the use of biomass fuels is responsible for nearly two million premature deaths each year worldwide. It will be of no surprise that any person with exposure of pollution might have become a victim of lung disease or COPD for quite some time. People should have themselves diagnosed if they are exposed to pollution.

He said that indoor pollution in third world countries is playing havoc with the lives of the people, in such countries people are exposed to household air pollution owing to poverty level, rural to urban migration, use of non-biodegradable plastic bags that generate more pollution when burn. Nonetheless, black carbon (sooty particles) and methane emitted by inefficient stove combustion are powerful climate change pollutants. These factors take more lives of adults as over one third of premature deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults are because of household air pollution.