Health experts seek legislation to help Europeans breathe more easily
Indoor air quality needs to be improved to reduce a leading cause of death in the European Union, a leading professor in respiratory medicine will tell a meeting to launch a declaration on COPD in the European Parliament today.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a mixture of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which is often associated with other long-term conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. November 14 is designated World COPD Day.
“Few people have ever heard of COPD but it is ruining lives and forcing up to 300,000 Europeans to depend on portable oxygen tanks,” says Prof. William MacNee, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom and a former past president of the European Respiratory Society.
“It is an under-recognised and under-diagnosed problem that is growing in Europe as populations age,” he says. The present death toll is 200,000-300,000 each year in the European Union.
The European Respiratory Society, the European Lung Foundation and the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations hopes that by working with politicians, greater attention will be drawn to the condition among both doctors and the public and to the need for more comprehensive implementation of clean indoor air policies.