Nav: Home

Lifetime risk for COPD is one in four, much higher than risk of developing heart failure and several common cancers

September 08, 2011

One out of every four people aged 35 and older are likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)* during their lifetime, according to the first comprehensive estimate of lifetime risk for COPD published in a special European Respiratory Society issue of The Lancet. The findings suggest that people are at much greater risk of developing COPD than congestive heart failure, acute heart attack, and several common cancers.

According to the results, the average 35-year-old women is more than three times as likely to get COPD than breast cancer during her lifetime, and the average 35-year-old man is at more than three times greater risk of developing COPD than prostate cancer.

COPD is projected to be the third most common cause of death worldwide by 2030, is a leading cause of hospitalisation, and one of the most costly chronic diseases. Yet, there is little public awareness of COPD and the disease does not receive the same funding, research, and profile as diseases with a similar burden, such as diabetes.

Andrea Gershon from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and colleagues aimed to quantify the lifetime risk of developing physician-diagnosed COPD using population-based health administrative data for the entire population of Ontario (about 13 million people). All individuals between 35 and 80 years of age without COPD in 1996 were followed for up to 14 years. A total of 579 466 cases of COPD were diagnosed during the study.

Overall, the estimated lifetime risk of developing physician-diagnosed COPD was 27.6% (or a one in four chance). The risk was higher in men (29.7% or almost one in three) than in women (25.6% one in four). Lower socioeconomic status and living in a rural area also increased the lifetime risk of getting COPD.

The authors point out: "COPD had a lifetime risk comparable to diabetes and asthma. Its lifetime risk was about double that of congestive heart failure...three to four times that of acute myocardial infarction, breast cancer [in women], and prostate cancer [in men]...and more than seven times that of other cancers."**

They conclude: "Our novel findings draw attention to the huge burden of COPD on society and can be used to educate the public about the need for attention and resources to combat the disease...[and to] justify the continuation of smoking cessation programmes, and the development of other strategies to optimise COPD care to improve the lives of affected individuals, their families, and their communities."

In a Comment, David Mannino from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, USA and Fernando Martinez from the University of Michigan Health System, Michigan, USA say that these findings are particularly important because: "Until recently, there has been little public awareness about COPD and the disease has received few resources from funding agencies. The amount spent on research per case still lags behind that of other chronic and malignant diseases."
Dr Andrea Gershon, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Via Deborah Creatura, Media Advisor, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences T) +1 416 480 4780 or +1 647 406 5996 E)

Dr Fernando Martinez, University of Michigan Health System, Michigan, USA. T) +1 134 763 2540 E)

Notes to Editors: *COPD is characterised by a chronic, progressive and largely irreversible obstruction of the airways, restricting a patient's respiratory function and hence reducing their physical activity and increasing their vulnerability to other conditions such as chest infections.

**Quote direct from authors and cannot be found in text of Article.


Related Breast Cancer Articles:

Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?
A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
Blood test offers improved breast cancer detection tool to reduce use of breast biopsy
A Clinical Breast Cancer study demonstrates Videssa Breast can inform better next steps after abnormal mammogram results and potentially reduce biopsies up to 67 percent.
Surgery to remove unaffected breast in early breast cancer increases
The proportion of women in the United States undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer who have preventive mastectomy to remove the unaffected breast increased significantly in recent years, particularly among younger women, and varied substantially across states.
Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue more likely to develop contralateral disease
Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue have almost a two-fold increased risk of developing disease in the contralateral breast, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.
Some early breast cancer patients benefit more from breast conservation than from mastectomy
Breast conserving therapy (BCT) is better than mastectomy for patients with some types of early breast cancer, according to results from the largest study to date, presented at ECC2017.
One-third of breast cancer patients not getting appropriate breast imaging follow-up exam
An annual mammogram is recommended after treatment for breast cancer, but nearly one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer aren't receiving this follow-up exam, according to new findings presented at the 2016 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.
Low breast density worsens prognosis in breast cancer
Even though dense breast tissue is a risk factor for breast cancer, very low mammographic breast density is associated with a worse prognosis in breast cancer patients.
Is breast conserving therapy or mastectomy better for early breast cancer?
Young women with early breast cancer face a difficult choice about whether to opt for a mastectomy or breast conserving therapy (BCT).
Breast density and outcomes of supplemental breast cancer screening
In a study appearing in the April 26 issue of JAMA, Elizabeth A.
Full dose radiotherapy to whole breast may not be needed in early breast cancer
Five years after breast-conserving surgery, radiotherapy focused around the tumor bed is as good at preventing recurrence as irradiating the whole breast, with fewer side effects, researchers from the UK have found in the large IMPORT LOW trial.

Related Breast Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...