Education for Health and Other Leading Experts Call for National Strategies to Tackle COPD - An Emerging Epidemic in the Workforce
17 November 2010The latest report from our COPD Uncovered initiative highlights the devastating impact of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in people of working age - nearly 1 in 5 45-68 year olds with COPD surveyed were forced to retire prematurely.
The report exposes the devastating economic, social and personal impact of COPD in the 40-65 years age group - the mainstay of the global workforce. These results have led respiratory experts to call for the implementation of National Strategies to tackle this disease in the working age population.
Authored by Education for Health and other leading specialists, the report uncovers the true cost of COPD in the working age population and reveals its significant impact on work and quality of life. The authors are appealing to policy makers, the medical community and other stakeholders such as employers to create and implement tactics such as earlier diagnosis and management, in order to keep people healthy and productive for longer.
"It's an economic time bomb" said Monica Fletcher, Chief Executive of Education for Health. "The key generation driving the economy in most countries are people aged 40-65 years and in this harsh economic climate, we need to ensure they stay active and productive. With the incidence of COPD set to rise, with increasing numbers of women being affected than previously thought, it can only mean that personal and societal cost will also increase"
COPD is rapidly becoming one of the world's most serious health issues, affecting 210 million people worldwide, but only half of these people have been diagnosed. COPD can dramatically impair the productivity of this population. However, it is preventable and treatable and those with symptoms such as persistent cough with phlegm, breathlessness or a wheezy chest are encouraged to visit their healthcare provider for a lung function test.
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