Breathe Well

Building REsearch Across THE WorLd in Lung disease

Breathe Well group photo

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term incapacitating respiratory condition, responsible for substantial ill health and is the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. The main causes, including smoking and exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution are more common in low and middle income countries (LMIC). Disease burden disproportionately affects the most disadvantaged populations in LMICs.

However, awareness of COPD is very low. Over half of people who have COPD do not know they have the condition and are not receiving treatment which could help them. Local community healthcare systems are in development and limited treatment is available, especially in poorer areas. Services to help smokers quit are patchy, inhaler medications are often too expensive and other forms of effective treatment eg education, support for physical activity and management of breathlessness are rarely available. Improving access to healthcare and identification of cost-effective approaches for earlier detection, smoking cessation and pulmonary rehabilitation for people with COPD are part of the WHO four global priorities for non-communicable diseases.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group on Global COPD in Primary Care, University of Birmingham was formed in June 2017 and is led by Dr Rachel Jordan and Professor Peymané Adab. The research team in Birmingham have developed a growing international track record in COPD research in community/primary care settings.

Using this knowledge and expertise the Directors have formed partnerships with teams in four LMICs – China, Brazil, Georgia and Republic of North Macedonia and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) a charity with more than 30 countries as members which aims to promote the improvement of treatment for patients with lung diseases worldwide, through education & research.

     Funded by National Institute of Applied Health Research, Institute of Applied Health Research and International Primary Care Respiratory Group logos

This research was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global COPD in Primary Care using UK aid from the UK Government. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.