Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious
respiratory condition that includes emphysema and chronic
bronchitis. Most people with COPD have both of these
conditions. COPD has a substantial impact on the health of
New Zealanders and is estimated to affect 15% of the adult
population over the age of 45 years.
More than 85% of COPD arises from tobacco smoking. Other
causes include cannabis smoking, and occupational exposure to
dust. As the disease progresses, it affects quality of life
through poor mobility and social isolation, and often results in
anxiety or depression. COPD is irreversible, but treatments and
lifestyle changes can manage the disease and improve the quality of
life of those affected.
In Canterbury, women have higher rates of COPD (8.5%) than for
the rest of New Zealand (7.4%), but the rate of hospitalisations
was significantly lower than the national rate. Māori had a
significantly higher rate than all other groups.
Read the full issue summary for COPD [PDF].