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World COPD Day - 21 November 2018

World COPD Day Logo 2018 nov 211

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease that causes breathlessness, chronic sputum production and cough, there are 251 million current cases of COPD in the world. COPD is currently the 3rd leading cause of death globally and is highly prevalent in low resource countries. World COPD Day is an annual global initiative run by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), who are members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS).

This year, the 17th annual World COPD Day will take place on 21 November. The theme “never too early, never too late” emphasises that COPD can originate early in life (therefore, early diagnosis and intervention is key) as well as that it is never too late for diagnosis and treatment.

 Common symptoms of COPD

  • Shortness of breath.
  • A repetitive cough.
  • Increased phlegm or mucus production.
  • Feeling tired.
  • More frequent chest infections.
  • Taking longer to recover from a cold or chest infection.

COPD is diagnosed with a breathing test called spirometry. This test is easy to perform, non-invasive and painless, it only takes a few minutes. Finding cases early on is very important to prevent disease progression, and this approach may reduce the burden of disease and mortality rates in future. Increasing public knowledge of COPD, specifically prevention strategies, is enormously important. People with chronic breathlessness of any type, or cough and sputum production should have a spirometry test.

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About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS)

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organisation comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latino Americana De Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.