Global Burden of Chronic Respiratory Diseases Quantified

The highest deaths and DALYs from CRDs were due to smoking, followed by air pollution and occupational risks.

HealthDay News — Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) were the third leading cause of death globally, accounting for 4.0 million deaths in 2019, according to a study published online April 25 in eClinicalMedicine.

Sara Momtazmanesh, M.D., from the Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute in Tehran, Iran, and an international group of chronic respiratory disease collaborators estimated mortality, years lived with disability, years of life lost, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), prevalence, and incidence of CRDs from 1990 to 2019 by sex, age, region, and sociodemographic index in 204 countries and territories. CRDs included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pneumoconiosis, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary sarcoidosis, and others.

The researchers found that CRDs were the third leading cause of death in 2019, responsible for 4.0 million deaths with a global prevalence of 454.6 million cases. From 1990 to 2019, total deaths and prevalence of CRDs increased by 28.5 and 39.8 percent, respectively, while age-standardized rates decreased by 41.7 and 16.9 percent, respectively. The primary cause of deaths from CRDs was COPD, with 212.3 million prevalent cases, accounting for 3.3 million deaths. Asthma had the highest prevalence among CRDs, with 262.4 million prevalent cases. From 1990 to 2019, the age-standardized rates of burden measures of COPD, asthma, and pneumoconiosis reduced globally, but throughout the study period, the age-standardized rates of incidence and prevalence of interstitial lung disease and pulmonary sarcoidosis increased. The highest deaths and DALYs from CRDs were due to smoking, followed by air pollution and occupational risks.

“Full global adherence to tobacco control measures and air quality improvement strategies are crucial in reducing the burden attributed to CRD,” the authors write. “The high death and DALYs rates in low and low-middle sociodemographic index countries highlights the urgent need for improved preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic measures.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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