COPD Uncovered, a new report issued today, reveals for the first time that people between the ages of 40 and 65 are emerging as the new face of the disease.
Authored by Education for Health and other leading experts, the report uncovers a new, younger majority of COPD patients who are in the prime of their career, and financially responsible for the care of their children and aging parents.
The authors call for policymakers to read the report and challenge their thinking on how COPD should be addressed in this critical age group who are highly depended upon by society as leading wage earners.
COPD affects 210 million people and is predicted to be the third leading cause of death globally in 10 years' time. A severely debilitating disease, COPD dramatically impairs the productivity of this population.
In fact, the report found that people aged between 40 and 65 with COPD miss as many as 10 hours of work per week because of their condition. On a global scale, that represents more than two billion working hours lost each week worldwide. Additionally, COPD causes nearly 28,000 years of lost productivity annually.
The report deduces that if left unchecked, COPD could have significant global workforce and economic implications on patients, families, employers and society as the disease escalates.
"Given the potential economic impact, it is critical that 40- to 65-year-olds with COPD are able to lead an active and productive life," said Monica Fletcher, Chief Executive of Education for Health.
"In releasing this report we want to spark an important global dialogue with key global stakeholders on how best to invest in earlier diagnosis and the management of these younger patients."
"The most important risk factor of COPD is cigarette smoking. It is important to highlight and address this issue on a global level by banning cigarette smoking, selling and distributing it. It is now essential to consider cigarettes as a danger drug and consider it banned at all level" - Name and address supplied