The burden of chronic respiratory problems in India doubling up!

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The burden of chronic respiratory problems in India doubling up!

While primary care deals with mild or short-term conditions like cold or infection that heals easily, pulmonologists come into action during complex issues. 

But, with the continuous rise of population and consequently increasing habits of smoking or drinking alcohol, a huge burden of chronic respiratory problems falls upon the health care sector. 

Since 2016, health conditions concerning the respiratory system have increased drastically in India. Studies say that 32% of the total DALYS across the globe covered chronic respiratory problems occurring in India. 

A study upon the 1990 to 2016 timeframe reveals that the contribution of death due to complex respiratory disorders shows an increase in rate from 4.5% to 6.4%. 

Out of that, 75.6% were affected with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). And 20% were due to Asthma. So, it essentially highlights the two most deadly respiratory problems that blew away healthy living conditions for numerous people in India.

That’s a burden for the health care sector, no doubt! 

Now, do you know what factors are attributing to COPD? Plausibly, it is the first thing you need to know about the burden of health care service providers in preventing further chronic health consequences!

One, of course, is attributable to air pollution, followed by an extreme usage of tobacco and then occupational risks. Studies portray that amongst DALYs because of COPD in India, in the year 2016, 53.7% were the result of air pollution, 16.5% occupational risks, and 25.4% were attributable to the rampant use of tobacco. Isn’t that alarming? Well, it is. The situation got more intense when a non-communicable disorder like heart disease or diabetes enlisted 6 out of 10 deaths in 2016.  

Precisely why the director of Pune-based Chest Research Foundation, Dr. Sandeep Sahi said the Indian Express newspaper that it is essential to launch a National Health Chronic Respiratory Program to handle the growing health problems concerning the respiratory system.  He also added, “People will be made aware of the burden and risk factors associated with CRDs.” 

What boosted such an initiative is the National Health Policy of India 2017, constituting recommendations for the reduction of mortality due to non-communicable and chronic respiratory diseases by 25% within 2025. In the same year, in India, the second-highest cause of death after heart diseases was COPD. 

Next, in 2019, COPD is responsible for millions of death every year. India Spend reports so in March 2019. They also spoke about the contribution of burning- coal, wood, and cow dung in the prevalence of COPD in India. They also highlight that heterogeneity is a huge issue here! Particularly, since Chronic Respiratory diseases can spread from one person to another.    

In recent days, it is observed that influenza leads to 5 to 15% of infections in the respiratory tract. In 2021, a study revealed that Kerala possesses the most acute respiratory infected patients in India overall. And there are above 5.6 million cases. Rajasthan and West Bengal occupy second and third positions respectively in this regard. 

Also, there exists another massive burden! Are you envisioning what that is? That is nothing but extreme trouble in diagnosing the exact respiratory problem. In this context, researchers state that around 60% of people fail to fetch an accurate diagnosis.  Yes, only clinical symptoms and medical history do not suffice in the diagnosis of lung disorders.

But, Spirometry does! Even then, the use of spirometry in medical diagnosis is very limited in our country, report of 2013 reveals that almost 30% of physicians, 80% of pediatricians, and 90% of general practitioners do not use spirometry. That is a large number, indeed!

Now, we have arrived at a phase where we shall talk about the different types of complex respiratory problems. Most importantly, the communicable and non-communicable distinct respiratory complexities shall be taken into account.

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About author
Hi, I’m Alka Tiwari, healthcare marketer at HealthFinder. I started this blog to help you provide better healthcare information directly from the doctors.
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