Smokers should be tested for COPD

| September 30, 2013

Ninety percent of people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) developed the condition after tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke, National Taiwan University principal and lung cancer specialist, Yang Pan-chyr, said on Saturday at a John Tung Foundation press launch of its online COPD self-assessment.

According to a story in the Taipei Times, Yang said 80 percent of smokers had little knowledge of the threat of COPD posed by smoking, and that only a small portion of them sought medical attention.

COPD is linked to repeated lung infections caused by smoking, environmental pollution and toxic substances emitted from burning coal.

“All these factors would lead to the narrowing of the airway, which would block the airflow and cause breathing difficulty,” Yang said.

“Many people afflicted by the disease mistake it for asthma, which is different from COPD in being caused by allergens instead of permanent damage to the airways.”

The foundation said that COPD could be accompanied by cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes or other systemic conditions, significantly compromising the quality of a person’s life.

But by quitting smoking and with early treatment the impact of the disease could be reduced.

People aged 40 and over with a history of smoking or exposure to chemical substances, powders or other air pollutants should have routine tests so as to facilitate early detection, the foundation added.

Category: Breaking News

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