- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a life-threatening lung disease that interferes with normal breathing – it is more than a “smoker’s cough”.
- WHO estimates that there are 64 million(*) people living with COPD in the world. The exact number is unknown but a study published in 2015 suggests the figure is much higher; the global prevalence is 11.7% (8.4%–15.0%)
- The Global Burden of Diseases estimates that in 2015, 3.2 million people died of COPD worldwide.
- In the WHO European Region, this same study estimates that 66 million people live with COPD.
- More than 3 million people died of COPD in 2005, which is equal to 5% of all deaths globally that year.
- Almost 90% of COPD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- The number of deaths from COPD has increased more than 60% over the last 20 years.
(table reference: see below **)
- The primary cause of COPD is tobacco smoke (through tobacco use or second-hand smoke).
- In Europe 4-10% of adults have COPD.
- The total COPD related expenses for outpatient care (= not in hospital) in the EU is approximately € 4,7 billion per year
- Inpatient care (=in hospital) generates costs of €2,9 billion followed by expenses in pharmaceutical of 2,7 billion per year
- The disease now affects men and women almost equally, due in part to increased tobacco use among women in high-income countries.
- Total deaths from COPD are projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years without interventions to cut risks, particularly exposure to tobacco smoke.
- COPD is the 5th biggest killer worldwide. Every hour COPD is estimated to kill over 250 people worldwide.
It is time to act now!
(*) From WHO, COPD Fact sheet N°315, February 2011
(**) Global and regional estimates of COPD prevalence: Systematic review and meta–analysis, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4693508/ and Table 4, Summary of overall COPD cases and prevalence rates in people aged 30 years or more (estimates derived from epidemiological model)
Other sources: ERS Lung White Book, ERS Respiratory Roadmap, EFA