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Little known lung disease killing Canadians: Study


A new research has found that a large number of Canadians are likely to be diagnosed with a lesser-known incurable lung disease that leads to breathing troubles and subsequently cause heart failure, heart attacks, breast cancer in women or prostate cancer in men.

In what is being described as the first solid estimate of the lifetime risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Toronto scientists — using data from the entire province of Ontario — found that one in four women, and one in three men aged 35 and older, are at risk of developing the weakening lung condition by age 80.

The research holds smoking the major reason for COPD and also states that second hand smoking also adds to it. But age is also a risk factor. So is occupational exposure to dusts or fumes, a history of respiratory tract infections in childhood, exposure to second-hand smoke and — many are beginning to believe — asthma, especially poorly controlled asthma

Further in the research, the team found that the average 35-year-old woman is more than three times more likely to get COPD than breast cancer during her lifetime, while the average 35-year-old male faces more than three times the risk of being diagnosed with COPD than with prostate cancer.

For both male and female, the lifetime COPD risk was about double that of congestive heart failure and three to four times that of acute heart attack.

Known by other names such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, COPD slowly destroys the lungs. It causes destruction of the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.

COPD starts as a lung disease, and initially people experience shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and spitting up mucus, and have so little energy from a lack of oxygen. Followed by that people lose weight; their bones thin. Many develop depression, anxiety or other psychiatric problems.

A total of 579,446 people were diagnosed with COPD over the study period.

COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in Canada, after cancer, heart disease and stroke. The World Health Organization has estimated that, by 2030, COPD will be the third most common cause of death globally. It is the most common cause of hospitalizations due to chronic disease in Canada.

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 Other Articles by d-sector Team in
Human Development  > Health > Lifestyle Diseases

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tobacco packs to carry harsh pictorial warning
Sunday, May 29, 2011

Preferring computers over outdoor makes children weaker, finds study
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Now China imposes smoking ban
Monday, May 02, 2011

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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