Vietnam has high rate of COPD patients

With high rate of smokers, Vietnam is one of nations having most chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) people in the Asia region and the world.

The disease is a big burden for the society. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of hospitalized CODP patients spirals annually with the percentage of 6.7. Of whom, the majority of men have lung cancer relating to COPD.

41 year old man in Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Duc District who has smoked over 20 years lately has had to go to hospital for much cough and breathing problem. Yet he can not stop smoking.

COPD is the third leading cause of death after heart problem, cancer and Cerebrovascular accident.
Treatment of COPD is costly and in a long time causing more financial burden for patients' families and society.

As per the Ministry of Health's figures, there have been some epidemiological studies conducted in certain districts of the country. Initial results showed that the proportion of those who are over 40 is 4.2 percent including7.1 percent for men and 5.2 percent. More people in the North contract the disease than their peers in the South. There are around 2-6 people over 100 population.

More COPD patients have seen in wards to treat lung diseases and respiratory in hospitals such as Bach Mai in Hanoi; Medicine University in HCMC, and Cho Ray. Dr. Le Thi Tuyet Lan from the Association for Respiratory, COPD can be preventive but incurable.

The Ministry said that smoking is the most serious cause of the disease accounting for 90 percent. 

Additionally, the disease can be caused by contacting with dusts at work with 10 percent. Miners and laborers in foundry, metallurgy workshop,construction, weavers are often exposed to dust at their workplace consequently they are at high risk of contracting the disease .

Common signs and symptoms of COPD include:
• An ongoing cough or a cough that produces a lot of mucus (often called "smoker's cough")
• Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
• Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
• Chest tightness

By Tuong Lam -Translated by Uyen Phuong

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