Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Prof. Dr. Mehtap Malkoç released a message on the occasion of World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diesease (COPD) Day. Stating that organized by the Global Initiative Against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (GOLD) group, the World COPD Day is held on the third Wednesday of November each year, Prof. Dr. Malkoç conveyed that the World COPD Day is a global effort trying to boost people’s understanding of this global health problem.
Prof. Dr. Malkoç’s statement reads as follows “COPD is a disease that is not fully reversible and is characterized by progressive airflow restriction which makes people with this disease progressively unable to breathe. The incidence of COPD is 15-20% in adults over 40 years of age. In other words, one out of every five people over 40 in our society has COPD. Today it has become the third cause of deaths worldwide.”
Smoking is the Largest Cause
Highlighting the fact that smoking is the most important risk factor for COPD, Prof. Dr. Malkoç added that “apart from individuals who smoke 1 pack of cigarettes a day for approximately 20 years, exposure to intense cigarette smoke is an important risk factor, even if they do not actively smoke. In addition, exposure to chemical dust and gases, air pollution, environmental pollution, and especially coal, wood, and bush used in homes for cooking and heating purposes and genetic factors are all important factors in the development of COPD in individuals. Individuals who smoke have cough and phlegm as well as shortness of breath. Physical activity is reduced due to the shortness of breath and this decreasing physical activity reduces daily tasks, significantly affecting the quality of life of an individual and leading to the death of a person.”
How can We Avoid COPD?
Stating that there is a 30 to 40% decrease in the mortality rates caused by this disease in the hospital admissions of COPD individuals who walk for at least two hours a week or more. Dr. Malkoç continued her statement as follows: “The amount of physical activity plays a major role in the prevention and progression of COPD. The importance of multidisciplinary approach is once again highlighted on World COPD Day. If we can raise awareness about the symptoms of COPD with doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians and other health personnel with the slogan ‘Increase COPD Awareness Worldwide’, people with symptoms can receive appropriate treatment and stop the rapid destruction of their lungs, resulting in low mortality rates due to COPD as well as reduced numbers of hospitalizations and new COPD patients. As a result, regular exercise, regular and balanced diet, keeping the environment clean, and avoiding harmful fumes and gases all protect you from COPD.”