Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and heart disease are two of the deadliest chronic illnesses affecting the world’s population. These diseases have caused hundreds of thousands to lose their lives. With the death rate of heart disease and COPD rising, attention should be focused on these diseases and how we can prevent fatalities throughout the world. Educating the public about these diseases is vital in lowering the number of deaths among individuals who have been diagnosed with these diseases.
COPD and heart disease do have similar risk factors, symptoms, and mortality rates. Risk factors do play a major role in the development of these diseases. All risk factors for COPD and heart disease are similar in nature, and most can be prevented. Here are a few that should be addressed. Smoking is the leading cause of both COPD and heart disease. Cigarettes, along with other tobacco products, contain nicotine. Nicotine has been proven to cause severe damage to the lungs which, in return, causes the levels of oxygen to be limited. Limited oxygen to the lungs will cause COPD.
Nicotine can also cause a rise in blood pressure. This rise in blood pressure can cause damage to the heart which can result in heart disease. Quitting smoking is the best prevention of COPD and heart disease. Pollution has also been shown to cause damage to the lungs and hearts of humans. If a patient is living in an area where the pollution level is high, he or she has a greater risk of being diagnosed with COPD and heart disease. Living in an area of high pollutants also poses higher risks of mortality among COPD and heart disease patients.
If the population would pay closer attention to these risk factors, and the prevention of these risk factors, maybe then we can see a decrease in the number of patients being diagnosed with, and losing their lives to, COPD and heart disease. The symptoms of these two chronic diseases are also very similar in nature. Shortness of breath and fatigue are the leading symptoms among patients diagnosed with COPD and heart disease. While resting, neither patient will feel any symptom of fatigue or shortness of breath. After exertion, however, the patient has a very hard time catching his or her breath.
With patients who are diagnosed with COPD, their lungs cannot expand fully, due to lung damage, causing lack of oxygen and exhaustion. After taking one breath, COPD patients are unable to exhale all of the air taken in which causes it to be very difficult to expand their lungs fully to inhale the new breath needed. Heart disease patients have shortness of breath and fatigue due to damage of the heart. Muscles of the heart will work harder to allow the correct amount of blood flow to the body, which is very difficult, due to damage of the heart muscles.
Heart disease patients also experience fluid backup in the lungs due to the heart not being able to keep up, which causes shortness of breath. With the symptoms of both illnesses being so similar, a patient should be tested for both, if concerns arise due to these symptoms. With the similarities of risk factors, and symptoms, it is not surprising to find that the mortality rates between these two chronic illnesses are also very similar. The mortality rates, among patients diagnosed with COPD and heart disease, are on the rise.
Heart disease has been ranked as the number one killer throughout the world. This disease affects men and women alike. One in every four deaths is associated with heart disease. Heart disease patients suffer from damage to the heart, and heart muscles, which can result in death. Cardiac failure is the number one complication that causes death in patients diagnosed with heart disease. COPD also has a high mortality rate worldwide. As of now, COPD is ranked as the sixth leading cause of death worldwide, but quickly approaching the third ranking cause of death.
It is documented, however, that the death rank of this disease would have changed many years ago, but due to unreported cases, the factual numbers are still unknown. Most deaths, which occur in patients with COPD, are from complications that arise from the disease. The leading complication that occurs in patients with COPD is respiratory failure, which can result death. Patients with COPD also tend to develop cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. Men have been more at risk of contracting this disease in the past, but now with the skyrocketing number of women being diagnosed with COPD has caught the attention of many physicians.
The quality of life for a woman with COPD is far less than for men. Women tend to have more severe symptoms, depression, and hospitalizations. Women are more likely to die from COPD than men. Ethnicity really does not show to play a major role in patients with COPD. Mortality rates continue to rise in patients who have been diagnosed with heart disease and COPD. The similarities between COPD and heart disease are undeniable. The risk factors, symptoms, and mortality rates fall very close to each other; therefore, these diseases should be researched, and studied, vigorously.
The number of deaths from these diseases is skyrocketing out of control, and it is up to each individual to take the time to lower the risks of developing these diseases. Education about the risk of these diseases should be available for anyone who poses the high risks of being diagnosed with these diseases. Only then will we see a significant drop in the numbers of patients being diagnosed with these diseases and the number of deaths that occur because of the complications associated with COPD and heart disease.