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Lung cancer and COPD projected to increase over coming decades

A major new publication from the European Respiratory Society (ERS) ahead of its annual congress (Barcelona, 7 Sept 2013), shows that lung conditions are responsible for 1 in 10 of all deaths across Europe, with deaths due to lung cancer and COPD predicted to rise over the coming decades.

The European Lung White Book is a comprehensive publication that provides burden, cost and risk factor information for a range of respiratory diseases, drawing on the latest available research and statistics to provide a resource for health care professionals, politicians, and the public.

The White Book estimates that direct and indirect costs due to lung conditions total at least a staggering 390 billion Euros per year; even this sum is an underestimate due to there being limited or no data available on costs for some lung conditions.

The proportion of deaths due to respiratory disease is higher among the 28 countries of the European Union (EU28) – representing 1 in 8 of all deaths (12.5% of total deaths, 661 000 deaths annually) – than among the remainder of the WHO Europe region countries (that include the countries of central Europe closer to Asia), where it is 7.5% (292 000 deaths annually). Each year in the EU28 countries, lung diseases cause two-thirds of a million deaths, and at least 6 million hospital admissions, accounting for over 43 million in-patient bed-days.

Four respiratory disease categories appear in the global top 10 causes of mortality, together accounting for one in six deaths as well as one in 10 disability-adjusted life-years lost. These are lung cancer, COPD, lower respiratory tract infections (including pneumonia), and tuberculosis.

Smoking and respiratory infections are major causes of the burden of lung disease in Europe, and are potentially preventable.

Source: European Lung Foundation

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