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World COPD Day 2021: Current Theme, History, Significance and Key Facts

Shikha Goyal

World COPD Day 2021: The day is organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) with the collaboration of health care professionals and COPD patient groups across the globe. 

The purpose behind observing the day is to reduce the burden of COPD worldwide and also to raise awareness and share knowledge about it.

World COPD Day 2021: Theme

The theme of World COPD Day 2021 is "Healthy Lungs – Never More Important”. The theme highlights that the burden of COPD remains, in spite of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Even in times of COVID, COPD also remains a leading cause of death across the world. 

World COPD Day 2021: History

In 2002, the first World COPD was held. Therefore, every year organisers carry out various activities in more than 50 countries and make the day one of the world's most important COPD awareness and education events.

About COPD

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. When there is an obstruction to the airflow from the lungs, this devastating lung condition is known as COPD. In this case, the airways of the lungs narrow down and make it difficult for the affected ones to keep on par with even normal day-to-day activities. 

How is COPD caused and what are the risk factors?

Some of the causes and risk factors of COPD are:

Cigarette smoking: This is the most significant risk factor. As per some reports, about 20 to 25% of smokers will develop COPD. Those who quit smoking or are ex-smokers remain at risk and should be aware of the symptoms of breathlessness.

Genes: It is also one of the causes of the disease as a genetic disorder called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency that may trigger emphysema. It can also occur even if no other factors are present.

Exposure to irritants for the long-term: Exposure to irritants like chemical vapours or dust from grain or wood. Also, severe pollution can make COPD more worse in smokers.

Therefore, it is necessary to remain active either via regular physical activity or pulmonary rehab. Also, receiving important vaccines, taking medications properly, and keeping medical appointments can help keep the lungs healthy. 

Source: goldcopd.org

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