Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sees a rise in India as the foul air of our cities takes a toll on our respiratory systems
According to the global burden of disease, a tool that helps measure mortality across countries, time, age and sex, COPD is the second leading cause of death and disability-adjusted life years in India; (Illustration Nilanjan Das)
Shashank Mishra had never heard of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) till his 69-year-old father was diagnosed with it last December. Since then, life has turned upside down for the Delhi-based engineer, because “there is nothing more difficult than watching a parent struggle for breath”. Common COPD symptoms include breathlessness, constant mucus formation and wheezing, which prevents many patients from falling asleep. “My father is now going to respiratory rehab, but since there is only one centre near our house, getting an appointment takes long,” says Mishra.