A recent survey on the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has revealed substantive insight into the economic, social and personal impact of COPD for working-aged patients around the world. The survey, which was published in the peer-reviewed BMC Public Health Journal, reveals the true extent to which people with COPD experience a decrease in their overall level of savings and face a future of financial uncertainty.
The cross-sectional survey examined the lives of 2,426 participants, ages 45-67, from six countries (Brazil, China, Germany, Turkey, USA and UK). Participants were all diagnosed with COPD, had a smoking history of more than 10 years and were using COPD medications three months prior to completing the questionnaire.
The survey, COPD Uncovered: An Intentional survey on the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), reveals that:
- On average, COPD patients lose around $1,800 of their income each year as a direct result of their condition. This equates to a lifetime loss of nearly $20,000.
- Nearly 1 in 5 of 45-67 year olds with COPD are forced to retire prematurely due to their condition, thereby incurring increased healthcare utilization costs, reducing personal tax and pension contributions and increasing government disability costs.
- The impact of COPD on people’s earning power and overall income makes them concerned about its impact on their lives, and those of their families, and therefore their ability to maintain the same lifestyle as they had before.
While previous studies have attempted to highlight the financial burden of COPD, the authors note that direct costs only account for a portion of overall cost and past studies have not captured the full extent of the personal economic burden or the burden on society as a whole. The authors believe that publication of COPD Uncovered will help healthcare professionals and policy makers understand the true impact of the disease and raise awareness.