In Spain, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) affects more than 10% of Spaniards between 40 and 79 years, but 70% of patients have not yet been diagnosed. For this reason, it is vital to make the population aware of the importance of early diagnosis. With this objective, the conference "EPOC: a challenge, a commitment" was held, in which the deputies of the Madrid Assembly participated.
COPD has a slow and progressive evolution, and at the moment when the patient consults the doctor, the disease has advanced a lot, so it is difficult to slow down its progress and improve the quality of life of the patient. In Spain, this disease kills more than 18,000 people each year, and originates a health expenditure that exceeds 2,600 million euros per year.
During the Day "COPD: A challenge, a commitment", organized by the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), the Madrid Society of Pulmonology and Toothache (Neumomadrid) and the University of Patients, and in which Novartis has also collaborated, emphasized the importance of achieving an early diagnosis of the disease because, although it has no cure, if it is diagnosed in its first stage the available treatments can stop the progression of the disease and decrease the symptoms that incapacitate the patient to lead a normal life.
The Madrid parliamentarians who attended the Assembly of Madrid during the celebration of the Day, underwent a spirometry to find out if they run the risk of developing COPD.
Spirometry consists of blowing rapidly and forcefully through a tube, and serves to determine the air that fits in the lungs and at what speed a person can expel air, which allows to check their respiratory function, their lung capacity and if their bronchi are obstructed. The specialists recommend an annual spirometry to smokers over 40 years, because it is a cheap and simple test, able to predict the risk of suffering from the disease.