Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that block airflow from the lungs and develop difficulties in breathing. The disease is the third leading cause of death globally.

Key Points

  • ‘Emphysema’, which causes damage to alveoli in the lungs, and ‘Chronic bronchitis’ which causes inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes, are the most common conditions that can lead to COPD.
  • Smoking and exposure to pollution and chemicals can also lead to COPD.
  • Symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath, wheezing or chronic cough, respiratory infections, swelling of legs, ankle, and feet, fatigue, etc. The damage to the lungs caused by COPD cannot be reversed.
  • The incidence of the disease is steeply rising due to of poor air quality in highly populated Indian cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.
  • At present, there are 300 million COPD cases in the world.

World COPD Day

Every year, the third Wednesday of November is observed as World COPD Day with an aim to create awareness about the disease. World COPD Day 2020 is being observed on November 18 and this year’s theme is “Living Well with COPD – Everybody, Everywhere”.  It is the 19th Annual World COPD Day. The theme for every year is chosen by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). COPD Day is organized every year by GOLD and World Health Organisation (WHO). 1st COPD Day was observed in the year 2002.

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)

Launched in 1997, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) works with health care professionals around the globe for raising awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and for improving prevention and treatment of the disease. It was launched in collaboration with the World Health Organization, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA.