COPD getting more deadly in Turkey: Experts

COPD getting more deadly in Turkey: Experts

BURSA / ANTALYA – Demirören News Agency
COPD getting more deadly in Turkey: Experts

About 5 million people in Turkey suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and approximately 30,000 people die of the ailment every year, experts have warned.

“The number of people diagnosed with COPD in the world is about 600 million, and the figure for Turkey is around 5 million,” said pulmonologist Özhan Kula, hinting that more than 6 percent of Turkey’s 80-million-strong population is diagnosed.

“Three million people worldwide die of this disease every year. We also know that between 25,000 and 30,000 people die of COPD. As in the world, the rates of COPD incidence and deaths caused by the aliment are on the rise,” he added.

The main reasons behind these rates are smoking habits, air pollution and environmental hazards, said Kula.

COPD comes with complaints of shortness of breath and cough, but it is difficult to diagnose someone with it, another specialist said.

“The symptoms can be unnoticed until the age of 50,” said Mehmet Parlak from a private hospital in Antalya.

“It progresses slowly, and usually it is noticed when the lungs have major damage,” he added.

In many cases, the patient is diagnosed with COPD only when he or she is taken to an intensive care unit, said Parlak.

COPD is pointed to as one of the main causes of death in Turkey along with heart failure, pneumonia and cancer.

Experts warned in January 2018 that the sharp rise in lung cancer, COPD and asthma cases in Turkey’s northwestern province of Bursa was related with the polluted air.