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(Report) COPD health and its social impact – the report of the study meeting of the nonpartisan Diet members

(Report) COPD health and its social impact – the report of the study meeting of the nonpartisan Diet members
On 2013.11.18, HGPI had successfully organized a study meeting for nonpartisan Diet members at the Member of the House of Councilors Hall.

WHO had classified the particulate matter PM2.5 as one of the most dangerous carcinogenic risk factors. The exposure towards PM2.5 is a cause of the rapid increase of patients of lung cancer and COPD that calls for the needs of urgent measures. The study meeting proceeded with the opening speech by Kiyoshi Kurokawa (Chairman, HGPI), followed by Shoji Nishimura, Kazuko Toyama and Toshio Miyata (Executive Director, HGPI), whom shared their individual perspective of necessary local and overseas measures for COPD health and its social impact.

■The increase of COPD and the lack of respiratory specialist in the elderly society
Nishimura commented that, internationally, COPD as a risk to death is expected to raise from no.9 (2004) to no.3 (2030), and the death related to COPD is expected to rise in Japan as well. He also pointed out that the number of COPD patients who receive treatment is  only the tip of the iceberg, viewing that 5 million patients are estimated to have COPD, and only 0.25 million patients are having ongoing treatment. Also, the study done in 2004 by the Japan Respiratory Society showed that there is a lack of respiratory specialist.

■The demand for increasing the number of respiratory specialist
To increase the number of respiratory specialist, necessary measures include increase the pay for respiratory medical treatment, conveying the message where COPD hospitals are necessary in the local areas at the national level, local municipality, and medical doctor association. The medical doctor association needs to release the information of current COPD related problem to the mass media, where there is a serious lack of respiratory specialist, overwork, and unpaid work.

■COPD patients QOL
Toyama pointed out that there is lack of proper understanding of the QOL and difficulties of COPD patients, and sometimes information being provided were not right. Base on the current situation, Toyama started the Japan COPD patients information center, to work on the awareness of the disease.

■The needs to have social security and awareness of patients’ life and difficulties
Base on the current life and the difficulties faced by the COPD patients, there is a need to strengthen the awareness of non-smoking campaign (modification of tobacco warning and increase of tobacco tax), expansion on awareness activity (increase early diagnosis of patients, and provide treatment to the diagnosed patients), and improvement of social security (optimization of long-term care insurance certification standards and disability certification standard).

■The study on the medical fees and QOL of COPD patients
Miyata pointed out that the study done by HGPI reviewed that the QOL of the non-COPD patients, potential COPD patients and COPD patients drop by each level. The medical expenses by COPD patients, medical fees and loss of production total up to 200 billion yen.

■Policy measures based on the study
Based on the study results, there is a need to have a system that allows early detection of COPD, and to increase the number of medical specialists that enables problem treatment and care. Promotion of corporation by multi-stakeholders , non-smoking campaign, and national level of awareness campaign is viewed to be necessary,

Before the closing of the study meeting, the present Diet members and related associations discussed about the various measures, and achieved a consensus where there is a need to consider a fitting measure for COPD health and the social impact in Japan.

Exhibition date:2013-11-28

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