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Chronic respiratory diseases

    Overview

    Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) are diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. Some of the most common are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension. In addition to tobacco smoke, other risk factors include air pollution, occupational chemicals and dusts, and frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood. CRDs are not curable, however, various forms of treatment that help dilate major air passages and improve shortness of breath can help control symptoms and increase the quality of life for people with the disease. The WHO Global Alliance against CRDs (GARD) vision is a world in which all people breathe freely, GARD focuses in particular on the needs of people with CRDs in low-income and middle-income countries.

    The aim of the WHO Chronic Respiratory Diseases Programme is to support Member States in their efforts to reduce the toll of morbidity, disability and premature mortality related to chronic respiratory diseases, and specifically, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    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)

    Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person. Symptoms may occur several times in a day or week in affected individuals, and for some people become worse during physical activity or at night. Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.

    COPD is not one single disease but an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases that cause limitations in lung airflow. The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness, or a ‘need for air’, excessive sputum production, and a chronic cough.


    Risks factors

    Many risk factors for chronic respiratory diseases have been identified and can be prevented.

    • tobacco smoking, including second hand smoke
    • indoor air pollution
    • outdoor air pollution
    • allergens
    • occupational risks and vulnerability

     

    235 million

    people suffer

    from asthma, a common disease among children

    >90%

    of COPD deaths

    occur in low-income and middle-income countries

    >3 million

    people die

    each year from COPD, an estimated 6% of all deaths worldwide

    乐动体育登录Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases

    乐动体育登录The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) contributes to WHO’s global work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. GARD is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations, institutions and agencies from a range of countries working towards the common goal of reducing the global burden of chronic respiratory diseases. Its vision is a world where all people breathe freely.

    Publications

    Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases

    乐动体育登录The report raises awareness of the huge impact of chronic respiratory diseases worldwide, and highlights the risk factors as well as ways to prevent and...

    Package of essential noncommunicable (PEN) disease interventions for primary health care in low-resource settings

    These tools of the WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable Diseases Interventions (WHO PEN) support implementation of very cost effective interventions...

    crd_strategy

    The objectives of the WHO strategy on chronic respiratory diseases are:Better surveillance to map the magnitude of chronic respiratory diseases and analyse...

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