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Respiratory diseases insidiously spreading in Goa, says study




A Lancet study has said the incidence of respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD and asthma has  witnessed a substantial rise in Goa in the last 26 years.

The latest study has revealed that the crude prevalence of COPD, which was found among less than 2,750 persons per one lakh population in 1990, has since increased in the range of 4,250-4,749 in 2016.

On the other hand, asthma that was prevalent among less than 2,250 persons per one lakh population in 1990 has since increased in the range of 2,750-3,249 persons in 2016.

According to the ‘global burden of disease study 1990-2016’ published in ‘The Lancet Global Health’

on September 12, 2018, Goa has been placed 10th in the list of the crude prevalence of COPD in the Indian states in 2016.

The crude prevalence was highest in the contiguous north Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Haryana, which was distributed across lower-middle, higher-middle, and high epidemiological transition level state groups.

The next highest COPD prevalence values were noted in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Mizoram, Maharashtra and then Goa.

Unlike the COPD, which is mostly associated with ageing, asthma affects all age groups including schoolchildren.

The study has suggested that poor management of asthma in childhood also affects lung growth, heightening the risk of developing COPD at later ages.

The findings have stated that the dominant risk factor for COPD in India in 2016 was air pollution, which contributed more than half of the disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) – a measure of how much of a fully productive life is cut short by disease.

Smoking contributed a quarter of the COPD cases.

The ambient air pollution exposure has increased in most part of India since 1990, whereas exposure to household air pollution has decreased because of a reduction in the use of solid fuels, although it is still quite high, the study observed.

“The inadequate clinical knowledge of asthma among practising physicians, the poor utilisation of diagnostic tools for asthma, the limited use of inhaled medications, and the existence of several misconceptions and misbeliefs in the community seem to be the likely contributing factors to the high DALY rate per person with asthma in India,” the study has reckoned.

The study has said the proposed healthcare measures to manage chronic respiratory diseases are yet to be implemented by the Centre, stressing on the need for adequate measures to reduce exposure to risk factors for COPD and asthma.


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