Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a condition that limits airflow to the lungs and is not fully reversible with the use of medication.

Among Australians with lung disease, COPD contributes to one-third of the overall health burden and two almost one-third of deaths.

What's the risk?

  • Tobacco use in exposure is the single main cause of COPD (74.6%) followed by occupational exposure (2.9%) and air pollution (0.3%) 
  • Mainly middle-aged and older people are affected by COPD. 
  • The number of people with COPD increases with age, increasing from 1-13, in those 40 years and over to almost 1-3 in those aged 75 years and over.

The cost of COPD

A person with COPD will carry 45.6% of the financial costs and an additional 1.6% is carried by their families and Friends – Lung foundation Australia 2008.

78% of people living with advanced COPD experience economic hardship from managing their illness and 27% were unable to pay for their medical expenses – Rising epidemic of COPD in women, women's health in Primary Care 1992.

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cost to care sapience financial

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