Indore (Madhya Pradesh): City doctors have raised an alarm against the increasing number of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and held increasing pollution accountable for the same.
On the eve of World COPD Day, respiratory medicine expert Dr Ravi Dosi said: “Large number of people in the city are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and the number is increasing swiftly due to increasing pollution levels.”
He said that the level of PM 10 in 2012 was close to 100 but it has reached over 200 and even more now.
“Indore is the cleanest city in the country but pollution is still a concern. Patients of COPD were mainly seen among those above 60 years till a few years ago but the average age of patients has decreased to 40 years in the non-smokers,” Dr Dosi said.
HoD of the respiratory medicine department Dr Salil Bhargava said that air pollution is the major reason for COPD and the cases increase in winter as the pollutants remain near the surface.
“About 15 per cent of the population of the city might have COPD of different stages. The number is increasing and it may be worse if preventive steps are not taken,’ Dr Bhargava said adding “Indoor pollution is also a major cause but government schemes like Ujjawala Yojana have provided relief from pollution generated due to biomass stove in rural areas.”
Lifespan can be increased by 4.9 years if air quality improved
According to Dr Bhargava, “A report of Energy Policy of India stated that Indoreans could live more than 4.9 years of age if they follow the WHO guidelines for air quality. With an average annual Air Quality Index of around 144, the city of Indore has been identified as one of the non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme.
Masks decrease the exposure of particulate matter
Spread of Covid-19 has made people wear masks but the good side is that the masks have decreased exposure of people to pollutants.
“Indeed, masks have saved people from exposure to air pollution and it may slow down the number of cases of COPD. However, it may not affect the overall cases which are increasing due to air pollution,” Dr Bhargava added.
“The level of PM 10 in 2012 was close to 100 but it has reached over 200 and even more now,” Respiratory medicine expert Dr Ravi Dosi said.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)