This year, World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day is observed on November 17 and is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), aiming to raise awareness about COPD and discuss ways to reduce its burden.

The theme for this year’s World COPD Day is:


More important than ever

COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. Over 80% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

COPD is characterized by:

– Persistent and progressive respiratory symptoms
– Difficulty breathing
– Cough and/or sputum production.

Risk factors for COPD development include:

– Exposure to tobacco smoke
– Indoor air pollution
– Occupational dust
– Vapors and chemicals.

The progression of the disease leads to difficulties in performing normal daily activities, often due to shortness of breath. COPD leads to limitations in workplace and home productivity, increased medical treatment costs, and additional financial burden on patients.

During exacerbations of the disease, respiratory symptoms worsen, which may require additional treatment, visits to the emergency center, or hospitalization. Severe COPD exacerbations can be life-threatening.

To slow the progression of the disease and reduce exacerbations, early diagnosis and treatment are necessary, including smoking cessation support programs.

COPD is included in the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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