Nepal | November 30, 2020

Prevalence of COPD higher in men

Sabitri Dhakal
Share Now:

Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016 reported that 27 per cent of Nepali males and six per cent females smoke. High level outdoor and indoor pollution is another factor

Kathmandu, November 23

Poor air quality, smoking, dust, use of biomass fuels for cooking and heating are some of the causes for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the country, according to health practitioners.

A research conducted by Nepal Health Research Council with support from the Ministry of Health and Population revealed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was the most prevalent (11.7 per cent) non-communicable disease, followed by diabetes mellitus (8.5 per cent), chronic kidney disease (6 per cent) and coronary artery disease (2.9 per cent) among Nepalis.

“The primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is smoking (including second-hand or passive exposure),” said Dr Phanindra Prasad Baral, chief of Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division.

Nepal Demographic Health Survey-2016 reported that 27 per cent of Nepali males and six per cent of females smoked tobacco. Higher level of indoor and outdoor pollution is another leading cause of COPD.

The NHRC report revealed that the prevalence of COPD was higher in men, 12.6 per cent compared to 11 per cent in women.

Biomass fuels used by women for cooking accounted for high prevalence of COPD among non-smoking women. “Though the prevalence of the disease is more in men, women are at higher risk of losing life of being disabled. Use of traditional cooking stoves, poorly ventilated homes, indoor air pollution, women spending more time in the kitchen for household chores and delayed hospital visits are some factors leading to death or disability,” said Tara Ballav Adhikari, a student at Aarhus University, Denmark, who is conducting research on community based management of COPD in Nepal.

According to Nepal Demographic Health Survey-2016, about two-thirds of households (66 per cent) use solid fuel for cooking, and this practice is more common in rural households (88 per cent) than urban households (52 per cent).

The prevalence of COPD varied considerably province-wise. It ranged from six per cent in Gandaki Province to 25.1 per cent in Karnali Province.

“People living in rural areas are more prone to COPD as they are exposed to smoke,” said Adhikari.

Thirty-one per cent households were exposed to tobacco smoke daily (34 per cent) in rural areas and 30 per cent in urban areas), according to NDHS.

“As the Nepali population ages, the burden of COPD is likely to increase because with increasing age, the incidence as well as death and disability increases,” added Adhikari.

The burden of COPD will increase in the country if effective measures are not taken to identify the disease and provide effective treatment. “Use of improvised kitchen stoves, pollution control and quitting smoking will help prevent COPD,” Adhikari said.

Shortness of breath, specially during physical activities, wheezing, chest tightness, chronic cough, which may produce sputum, are some of the symptoms of COPD.

Treatment will relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and reduce risk of death, Adhikari added.


A version of this article appears in print on November 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

National Covid-19 tally reaches 231,978 on Sunday with 1255 fresh infections

KATHMANDU: The countrywide Covid-19 tally reached 231,978 as 1255 additional infections emerged on Sunday. The capital hosts the highest amount of active cases which, on an average, reports half of the daily reported live infections. Likewise, 1404 people who were earlier infected with the vir Read More...

25 more fatalities registered today; Covid-19 death-toll advances to 1,479

KATHMANDU: Twenty-five more fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours with which Nepal’s Covid-19 death-tally has now advanced to 1,479. Meanwhile, 1,255 fresh coronavirus cases as reported today took the nationwide coronavirus case count to 231,978. Over 1.4 million deaths from the dis Read More...

Kathmandu Valley records 548 new cases on Sunday

KATHMANDU: The three districts of Kathmandu Valley reported a total of 548 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday. Of the new cases, 244 are females and 304 are males. As many as 422 cases were recorded in Kathmandu district while Lalitpur and Bhaktapur reported 61 and 65 cases respectiv Read More...

Smith hits second straight ton as Australia post 389-4 vs India

SYDNEY: Steve Smith led an imperious display from Australia's top-order batsmen with his second straight century as the hosts piled on a massive 389 for four against India's listless bowlers in the second one-day international in Sydney on Sunday. The match followed a script similar to Fr Read More...

Chinese Defence Minister calls on PM Oli

KATHMANDU: Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe has called on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at the latter's official residence in Baluwatar. The State Councilor and Defence Minister of China arrived here this morning on a one day official visit. Fenghe had asserted that his short visit to Ne Read More...

Bayern made to sweat for 3-1 win at Stuttgart

STUTTGART: Kingsley Coman scored one goal and set up another as Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday and stay top of the Bundesliga. It was the seventh consecutive game that Bayern, who face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week, conceded a goa Read More...

Liverpool held, City on fire and Everton lose again

LONDON: Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton after conceding a VAR-inspired stoppage-time penalty while Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick in Manchester City's 5-0 crushing of Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday. Carlo Ancelotti's Everton suffered their fourth defeat in five games aft Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 62.06 million, death toll at 1,450,479

LONDON: More than 62.06 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,450,479​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December Read More...