Asthma + COPD = ACOS

August 24, 2018  Source: Reuters 237

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As pollution increases, so do diseases such as asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Asthma patients face difficulty in breathing due to the narrowing of airways caused by inflammation. COPD patients, however, can be affected with chronic bronchitis which leads to restrained breathing.

When a patient has both these diseases, the results can be shocking. The name of this disorder is Asthma and COPD Overlap Syndrome, known as ACOS.

Teresa To, from the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health said, “Research and studies in recent years have found an alarming rise in ACOS, particularly in women. Patients with ACOS suffer more exacerbations, are hospitalized more often and have a lower quality of life compared to those who have asthma or COPD alone. Identifying and understanding risk factors for ACOS may help reduce the risk, improving health and quality of life.”

It does not mean that all asthmatic patients would surely develop COPD. But lifestyle disorders such as obesity, smoking, under-treatment due to poor compliance with medicines might lead to the development of ACOS. Teresa To further added, “These, in turn, may lead to more frequent asthma attacks and therefore airway remodeling that increases the chances of developing ACOS. In general, those with ACOS have both a higher morbidity and mortality rate compared to those with just asthma or just COPD, men or women.”

Several preventive measures such as routine physical activities, quitting smoking, and taking regular asthma medications, maintain the health of the lungs and helps to keep them in good condition.

By Ddu
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