Chronic respiratory diseases

About chronic respiratory diseases

Definition

Chronic respiratory diseases are chronic diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. Some of the most common are:

  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • respiratory allergies
  • occupational lung diseases and
  • pulmonary hypertension.

Main risk factors

  • tobacco smoking
  • indoor air pollution
  • outdoor pollution
  • allergens
  • occupational risks and vulnerability

Main facts

Hundreds of millions of people suffer every day from chronic respiratory diseases. According to the latest WHO estimates (2004), currently 235 million people have asthma, 64 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) while millions have allergic rhinitis and other often-underdiagnosed chronic respiratory diseases.

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