Experts from the world's leading lung organisations have come together for the first time to call for a worldwide effort to improve healthcare policies, systems and care delivery to make a positive difference to the lung health of the world.
Produced by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), the report has been launched on World COPD Day (20 November 2013), providing an overview of lung health across the globe.
Entitled Respiratory diseases in the world. Realities of Today - Opportunities for Tomorrow, the report features five major disease areas that are of immediate and greatest concern. These include COPD, which is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.
COPD is the only major disease that is increasing in prevalence worldwide and on all continents. The key element of reducing and controlling COPD is reducing and controlling tobacco use, which is best addressed through political and public health initiatives.
The report includes 10 key recommendations that FIRS considers to be essential to help reduce the burden of COPD and all respiratory diseases, such as reducing and eliminating the use of all tobacco products, improving early diagnosis of lung diseases, recognising and correcting the impact of malnutrition, and increasing policymakers' awareness that respiratory health is vital for global health and, ultimately, national economies.
Professor Peter Barnes, President of the European Respiratory Society, said: "This new report can be used as a guide, emphasising the major disease areas in lung health. It also provides practical approaches to combat these challenges and proven strategies to improve the care we provide to patients. The goal of FIRS is to speak with one voice to promote respiratory health worldwide and we are calling for improvements in healthcare policies, systems and care delivery to make a positive difference in the respiratory health of the world."