News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


A fresh look at secret killer...

Media release

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of NZ (Inc.)
10/01/2006


A fresh look at secret killer…

COPD – sounds more like some new hip-hop group than one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand. The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation wants the government, the public and health professionals to take a fresh look at COPD – New Zealand’s ‘Cinderella Disease.’

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is estimated to affect over 200,000 New Zealanders, yet few of us have heard of it. It is a progressive respiratory disease resulting in a major deterioration in quality of life – destroying the lungs and affecting the rest of the body.

COPD is sometimes referred to as a ‘Cinderella disease’ because it is not talked about openly. COPD often develops from smoking or poorly controlled asthma and a sense of denial delays people from reporting symptoms to their doctor. Therefore, by the time of diagnosis, lung damage is often severe and irreversible, and many patients end up reliant upon 24-hour oxygen for survival.

Jane Patterson, Executive Director of the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, is keen for the Foundation to support a new study into the prevalence of this disease which she considers to be on the verge of assuming epidemic proportions.

“The Foundation commissioned local research in 2003 to give us a better idea of the incidence and impact of COPD in New Zealand. The results suggested that COPD may well already be the leading cause of death and disability in New Zealand, yet respiratory conditions still don’t feature on the government’s health priority list.

We are now looking to fund another more substantial research project linked with similar work in Australia – this will give us good solid data for the first time on the level of COPD in New Zealand. We need to demonstrate to the government that early intervention programmes are crucial – all smokers need to be screened starting at age 35 for early signs of this disease.

At just 59, ex-opera singer Rangi Eria from Lower Hutt has the lungs of an old woman. She is a tough lady but she says “My life depends on supportive Whanau and friends. And I am thankful to them, but I didn’t want this for myself. I am still young.”

Frank Wilson of Rotorua has a mobility scooter which he uses to get around. Whenever he sees someone dragging on a cigarette, he stops and points at his oxygen tank and says “give it away before you’re like me.”

Frank gets angry when people shrug their shoulders and say “we’ve all got to die of something.”

“It’s not how you die that matters. It’s what stops you from flaming living that is important. Why throw it all away for one more cigarette?”

For more information on respiratory disease, see www.asthmanz.co.nz or call your local asthma society. To make an automatic $20 donation to the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, please call 0900-4-ASTHMA (0900-4278462).

ENDS


Background information for Editor

COPD affects an estimated 15% of the adult population over 45 years.

COPD is an irreversible disease that could be largely preventable by avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke.

COPD is ranked 2nd in men and 5th in women with regards to its health impact.

COPD is the 4th leading cause of death after cancer, heart disease and stroke.

COPD is estimated to cost up to $192m in direct health costs each year.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news