World COPD Day: shining a light on COPD and its sufferers

An estimated 10,000+ Maltese patients suffer from the disease

GSK is extending its support to COPD sufferers on the occasion of World COPD Day, a milestone that takes place each year to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Affecting nearly 210 million people worldwide, the annual cost of COPD in Europe now exceeds €38.6 billion. In Malta, it is estimated that there are over 10,000 patients that are suffering from the disease.

This is based on the latest European Health Interview Survey which estimates a 4% prevalence of COPD in Malta. A large number of these patients remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed when they are already in an advanced stage of the disease.

COPD is an umbrella term to describe conditions that limit airflow to the lungs. This includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This directly impacts patients’ health, their day-to-day life and ultimately survival.

The main symptom of COPD is breathlessness which can stop people from performing simple activities like washing and getting dressed. The main cause of COPD is smoking.

In a recent GSK survey of COPD patients in the UK, the emotional impact of breathlessness was found to be far higher than previously understood, with as many as 41% of patients not proactively discussing the impact of breathlessness with their doctors. 

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