The India Post, Chandigarh, July 13, 2008:Respiratory diseases impose tremendous health burden on society, said the medical experts gathered at the one-day regional conference on chest diseases and related disorders, Chest Update 2008, at Hotel Shivalikview today.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) remains a major public health problem, and is the fourth leading cause of all deaths worldwide, said Dr. Surinder Kumar Gupta of Right Chest Clinic, the only DM specialising in pulmonary diseases in the private sector in the city, and organiser of the event.
According to the recent report of Centre for Disease Control 21 million or 35 percent of children are exposed to secondhand smoke on a regular basis, which is harmful especially to young people and is responsible for more than 100,000 lower respiratory tract infections and also is the cause of thousands of hospitalizations each year, Dr. Gupta said.
Dr. Gupta said that half of world’s population and upto 90 percent of rural households in developing countries rely on unprocessed biomass fuels for cooking and heating. According to the report of the Indian Council of Medical Research 28 percent of all deaths due to indoor air pollutions in the developing countries occur in India.
He said in our country 5 percent of males and 2.5 percent of female above the age of 30 years suffer from chronic lung disease caused due to smoking and exposure to biomass fuel and the disease is called COPD.
Prof. S.K. Jindal, Professor and Head of Pulmonary Medicines at PGI said that oxygen therapy is the only intervention which could result in prolongation of life span of patients with chronic lung diseases, and discussed various methods of oxygen deliver devices and doses.
Dr D Behera, Director, LRS Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi emphasised the use of spirometry (pulmonary function tests) to diagnose and measure asthma and distinguish it from smoking-related lung diseases like COPD.
Dr Ashutosh Aggarwal advised the phyicians to recommend the use of inhalers to the asthma patients since they carry less side-effects and are more effective.
Prof Janmeja from Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, spoke about the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnea.
The conference was attended by over 200 medical practitioners from the region which was designed to upgrade their knowledge about the latest treatments available in understanding and managing the pulmonary diseases.