Lung disease fatal for 1.28M Chinese each year

Updated: 2007-11-17 16:25

About 1.28 million people in China die from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) annually, experts at an international symposium in Beijing reported this weekend.

There were 38.16 million patients in China's mainland and 870,000 in Hong Kong and Taiwan affected with medium or severe COPD. However, public awareness of the disease was quite low.

Even doctors could misdiagnose, and fail to spot the disease at an early stage, according to an international research project on antibiotics, which held a global symposium on bronchitis in Asia Pacific in the Chinese capital this week.

Cough, expectoration and panting were listed as major symptoms of COPD, a general term covering chronic bronchitis, emphysema and some other chronic lung diseases.

The antibiotic Moxifloxac can help cut the number of days COPD patients suffer from the symptoms by 20 percent and reduce the nights of sleep disorder by 18 percent, according to results of a survey conducted by the transnational project. It studied more than 47,000 patients including 28,000 from Asia Pacific, about half of which were from the Chinese mainland.

The survey, which started in 2004, also found the average age for Asia-Pacific patients was 57, slightly younger than that of Europe and Latin America.

Experts said reducing acute outbreak and swiftly controlling infection were key measures to dealing with COPD.

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