MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From 1990 to 2017, the number of global deaths from chronic respiratory diseases increased, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in The BMJ.

Xiaochen Li, Ph.D., from Tongji Hospital at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and colleagues used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 to estimate mortality and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from chronic respiratory diseases.

The researchers found that the total number of deaths due to chronic respiratory diseases increased by 18.0 percent between 1990 and 2017. The average annual decrease in the age-standardized mortality rate of chronic respiratory diseases was 2.41 percent. The annual decline in mortality rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumoconiosis was slow (2.36 and 2.56 percent, respectively), while the mortality rate for interstitial lung disease and pulmonary sarcoidosis increased (0.97 percent). There were reductions in DALYs for asthma and pneumoconiosis, but increases were seen in DALYs for COPD and interstitial lung disease and pulmonary sarcoidosis. Across countries, there was considerable variation in mortality and the annual change in mortality rates. There were negative correlations between the sociodemographic index and the mortality rates of COPD, pneumoconiosis, and asthma. The major risk factor for mortality due to COPD and asthma was smoking. In regions with a low sociodemographic index, pollution from particulate matter was the major contributor to deaths from COPD.

“A low sociodemographic index was the most important factor that impeded progress in reducing mortality in developing countries,” the authors write.

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