UAE doctors to investigate rate of chronic respiratory disease
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, November 19 - 2009 at 12:37
- PRESS RELEASE
The first-comprehensive study looking at the rate of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) across the UAE, will be launched next week by doctors at the medical faculty at the University of Sharjah, with the backing of UAE health authorities.
The study's announcement coincides with November 19's World COPD Day - COPD is a smoking-related disease that is often only diagnosed when people reach their 50's and 60's after years of tobacco use, and requires on-going drug and oxygen therapy.
About eight out of every 1,000 people globally suffer from COPD, many of whom are undiagnosed, according to estimates from Dr Bassam Mahboub, Associate Professor of the Medical Faculty at the University of Sharjah, and Vice Chairman of the Emirates Respiratory Society, who will lead the new study.
"This is an important study that will fill a large gap in knowledge about the prevalence of chronic respiratory disease, including COPD, asthma and allergic rhinitis across the UAE," Dr Mahboub said.
"The first part of the research will look at prevalence of symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath in a representative group of the population. We will also be asking participants about smoking which will give us a more accurate picture of tobacco and shisha use, about which we still have little information," he added.
Stage two of the study will see participants with symptoms undergoing lung function tests to make a diagnosis of either, asthma, allergic rhinitis, or COPD, which is often misdiagnosed as asthma.
A recent study carried out in Al Ain reported that around 13.5 percent of the local population suffered from asthma and 25 to 30 percent had allergic rhinitis.
"The Al Ain study data suggests there is a high prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis, and we need a further study to see if this data correlates with the whole of the UAE. Our new study will ask about the environments people live in, through which we hope to be able to show differences in respiratory disease between those who live in heavily polluted urban areas, and rural areas," Dr Mahboub concluded.
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