COPD cases misdiagnosed as asthma in India: Doctor

Dr Sundeep Salvi

Chennai: “Majority of the patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are misdiagnosed to be asthma and it should be noted that India has a higher prevalence than global average,” said Chest Research Foundation director Dr Sundeep Salvi.

In 1990, the number of cases reported in the country stood at 28.1 million cases and it shot up to 55.3 million incidences in 2016.

He was speaking at an event hosted by Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) Foundation here Tuesday.

Dr Sundeep Salvi stated that poorly treated asthma and tuberculosis can certainly lead to COPD that cannot be curable but preventable if taken proper care.

Though majority of the experts attribute lung problems to smoking, he stated that in India 80 per cent of COPD patients are non-smokers.

Addressing the media about it, he said, “More than the Ambient Air Pollution (AAP), it is the Household Air Pollution (HAP) that causes COPD. Several materials we utilise at home are far more polluting than the pollution that vehicles cause.”

In a research he conducted, he identified that household items like mosquito coil/liquid, incence sticks and dhoop pollute the surrounding to a greater extent than the impact of fuel, than the permitted level.

Explaining the vulnerable groups across the country, he stated, “Women who use wooden stove for cooking are the most vulnerable one and the smoking population comes last in the lot.”

NT Bureau