World COPD Day 2022: Your Lungs for Life | Updated: 2022-11-23
With the theme of “Your Lungs for Life", the 2022 World COPD Day, which fell on Nov 16, aimed to highlight the importance of lifelong lung health.  
What is COPD?
A common, preventable and treatable disease characterized by persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow restriction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is related to airway and alveolar abnormalities caused by obvious exposure to toxic particles or gases.
Common symptoms of COPD
Dyspnea, chronic cough and/or expectoration are the most common symptoms of COPD, some may come with chest tightness and wheezing. Severe patients often experience fatigue, loss of weight and appetite.
Harms of COPD
1. Reducing the quality of life of COPD patients;
2. Increasing the risk of acute exacerbation, hospitalization and death of COPD;
3. Onset of pulmonary heart disease, even sudden death;
4. Patients with COPD often also suffer from other chronic diseases, which increases the disability rate and mortality rate of COPD;
5. Increased economic burden, etc.
High-risk groups for COPD
1. People aged 40 and above;
2. Long-term smoking and second-hand smoke exposure;
3. People with respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, chronic cough and/or expectoration, and (suspected) COPD;
4. Asthma, suspected asthma and patients with high airway reaction;
5. Those exposed to dust and harmful gas;
6. Congenital pulmonary dysplasia;
7. A history of recurrent respiratory infections in childhood;
8. Frequent exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution such as biofuels and kitchen lampblack;
9. Family history of COPD.
COPD diagnosis
COPD can be diagnosed by combining symptoms of patients, risk factors, pulmonary function tests and imaging examinations. Among them, a pulmonary function test is a widely accepted objective indicator for detecting airflow restriction, and is the gold standard for the diagnosis of COPD.
About pulmonary function tests
COPD patients often have no obvious symptoms in the early stage, but the condition can be found and treated early through pulmonary function tests. At present, our country is constantly improving the capability of primary-level medical and health institutions to carry out lung function tests, which enables more community health service centers and township hospitals to carry out lung function tests. Pulmonary function tests and diagnosis of COPD are carried out in hospitals of grade II and above.
COPD prevention
1. Quit smoking and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke;
2. Prevent respiratory tract infections in infantile period and childhood;
3. Reduce occupational exposure to dust and harmful gases;
4. Reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution;
5. Vaccinate against pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19.