COPD: The Silent Killer

COPD: The Silent Killer

An estimated 200 million people have COPD Globally, of which about 3.2 million die each year, making it the third-leading cause of death worldwide. The damage to the airways & lungs caused by COPD is permanent, but treatment can help slow down the progression of the condition.

The GOLD international COPD guidelines1, advise spirometry as the gold standard for accurate and repeatable measurement of lung function. Evidence is emerging that when spirometry confirms a COPD diagnosis, doctors initiate more appropriate treatment.

Treatments include:

Stopping smoking – if you have COPD and you smoke, this is the most important thing you can do.

Inhalers and medicines – to help make breathing easier.

For most people with COPD, short-acting bronchodilator inhalers are the first treatment used. Bronchodilators are medicines that make breathing easier by relaxing and widening your airways. There are 2 types of short-acting bronchodilator inhaler: Examples of short-acting bronchodilators are albuterol /Salbutamol/ levalbuterol and ipratropium.

A current recommendation of treatment in COPD is that two “fixed triple” combinations of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), a long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) in a single inhaler have become available for patients with COPD.

The indication of using ICS in COPD is stronger if the patient has concomitant asthma and or blood-increased -Eosinophil levels. Apart from reducing the risk of exacerbations, there is also data indicating t

hat ICS has a small but significant positive effect on lung function decline and mortality

Stem cell therapy:

There is some evidence that stem cell therapy for lungs may be effective in improving lung function and reducing inflammation in people with COPD. However, the effectiveness of stem cell therapy for COPD is still being studied, and more research is needed to determine its long-term effectiveness.



Dr. SM Abdullah Al Mamun

MBBS(DMC), MD (Chest), MCPS(Med), FRCP(Edin)

Senior Consultant

Respiratory Medicine

Evercare Hospital Dhaka