The burden of disability caused by respiratory disease
Most cases of respiratory disease are under-diagnosed and under-treated, which creates a substantial burden to individuals and families. It is also amongst the leading chronic illnesses in children.
Asthma has a great impact on overall quality of life. Breathing problems can lead to disruptions in sleep, wheezing, anxiety and stress – it can also limit a person’s ability to hold a conversation and lead a balanced social life. Therefore people with asthma are often at risk of developing depression. For children and parents, severe asthma can be especially distressing, as it affects learning ability and overall health.
The economic cost of asthma goes beyond direct medical costs such as hospitalization and pharmaceuticals. Indirect medical costs amount to millions of lost workdays and premature death. When asthma is not properly managed, the cost of treatment is eventually twice as high compared to patients who control even severe asthma.
COPD symptoms can have a destructive impact on the normal functioning of a day-to-day routine. Shortness of breath is one of the most troublesome symptoms, causing patients to become less active over time.
Around half of all COPD sufferers are younger than 65, placing them at the peak of their career and family responsibilities. Early retirement due to illness can lead to significant losses in lifetime earnings.