The rise of a non-communicable disease epidemic

Lawrence Grouse


Prof. Bhome’s review of COPD in India provides important information and perspective about the
worsening global COPD epidemic (1). The findings in India - increasing prevalence, DALYs lost,
and mortality resulting from COPD, including a dramatic rise of COPD in rural, lower-income
communities - combine with broader trends such as the increasing recognition of biomass and
other fuel use as common and powerful risk factors for COPD; the urgent need for early COPD
diagnosis to combat the progression of the disease; and links between COPD and pollution, fuel
use, and global warming. Taken together, these pieces of evidence should serve as a red flag warning
that a worldwide disease epidemic is underway, whose vectors are not micro-organisms but global
human commerce and socio-economic practices.

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