A major publication from the European Respiratory Society has estimated that lung disease has accounted for one tenth of all deaths is Europe. Data was used from the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. This report has stressed that the size and the toll of the epidemic caused by respiratory disease is massively overlooked.
A Senior Doctor, Professor Hubbard from the British Lung Foundation has said that in the UK the death rate is even higher “it is likely that around a quarter of deaths in the UK each year are from respiratory disease – as many as are killed by all non-lung-related forms of cancer put together”.
Exposure to asbestos is one of the risk factors which has led to this high mortality rate. The report summarised an important study which indicated that the peak incidence of mesothelioma has not yet been reached due to the long latency period. Alarmingly it has been predicted that one in 150 men born between 1945 and 1950- will sadly die from mesothelioma.
Prof Hubbard has highlighted that in spite of this rising death toll- research into lung cancer is massively under funded. “For instance, investment in lung cancer research totals around a third of that allocated to breast cancer, half that allocated to bowel cancer and less than half that allocated to leukaemia, even though it currently kills more people per year than all three put together”.