What is it about?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a major respiratory condition including several diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The death rates of COPD fell in most studied countries between 1995 and 2017. However, the total number of COPD deaths increased in many countries over the past 20 years.

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Why is it important?

That COPD death rates are mostly falling is very encouraging. It means that people may be less exposed to COPD risk factors (tobacco smoking and poverty are main risk factors) and that COPD is being better diagnosed and more effectively managed with treatments. Yet, the number of COPD deaths is rising as each year, more people are reaching the age of high risk for COPD death because life expectancy is increasing and populations are growing.


This research project was a collaborative effort from people with varied expertise (respiratory diseases, statistics, and public health). We put our skills together to interpret the results. We were working in 4 different countries and meetings were held on Skype.

Joannie Tieulent
International Agency for Research on Cancer

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: International trends in COPD mortality, 1995–2017, European Respiratory Journal, November 2019, European Respiratory Society (ERS), DOI: 10.1183/13993003.01791-2019.
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