Chronic Respiratory Disorders Create Significant Health Care Burden

Key Point: See the questions below to ask your patients to better assess the risk factors contributing to CRD and help them with the preventative process to avoid the disease altogether.

Chronic Respiratory Disorders (CRDs), including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic bronchitis create a significant health care burden in India, yet these diseases are largely preventable. Understanding and preventing risk factors that can lead to CRDs, and educating both clinicians and patients can help decrease the global burden of disease and improve patient care.

CRD risk factors to ask your patients about are:

  • Do you or anyone in your home smoke?
  • Do you use biofuel to heat or cook with (wood, cow dung or crop residues)?
  • Have you or a first degree relative ever been diagnosed with asthma?
  • During the last 12 months have you had wheezing or whistling breath?

Using 2011 census data, an Indian study by S.K. Jindal estimated the national burden of asthma in adults as 17.23 million and 14.84 million for chronic bronchitis. Jindal’s study used the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease’s 1984 questionnaire to estimate the nationwide prevalence and risk factors contributing to respiratory disease in adults in 12 different districts throughout India.


"Lack of spirometry use and the social stigma related to respiratory disease symptoms in the Indian population have led to a potentially gross underestimate of disease prevalence."
Bill Brashier, MD, Head Molecular and Clinical Research in Respiratory Diseases, Fellow of European Respiratory Society, Chest Research Foundation, Marigold Complex, Maharashtra, India


In total, 84,470 women and 85,105 men from 12 urban and 11 rural sites were interviewed. One or more respiratory symptoms were present in 8.5% of individuals. The overall prevalence of asthma (in adults older than 15 years) was 2.05%; for chronic bronchitis (in adults older than 35 years), the prevalence was 3.49%. The most significant risk factors included...

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This entry was posted in Non-Communicable Disease, Non-Communicable Disease Featured 2, Primary Care and tagged , , , , , . Volume: .

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