One in five British Columbians are affected by a lung or breathing condition.
The most common chronic lung condition in BC is asthma, affecting as much as 10 percent of children and adults. Next is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) - the fourth leading cause of death – which affects another six percent of people aged 45 or older, and following COPD is sleep apnea, or sleep-disordered breathing, affecting another two to four percent of adult men and women.
Add to that the tens of thousands of British Columbians diagnosed every year with lung cancer, afflicted by a fatal condition of the lungs called pulmonary fibrosis, or born with a life-shortening genetic condition called cystic fibrosis. While treatment exists to control and slow down the progression of these conditions, none are currently curable.
Finally consider the tens of thousands impacted every year by airborne infectious diseases such as influenza and pneumonia or worse - the increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacterial killer tuberculosis (TB).
Advances in lung and infectious disease research, immunization efforts, and accessible healthcare help ensure respiratory illness in Canada remains largely well-controlled and in most but not all cases, manageable and treatable. And the generous support of BC Lung Association fundraisers, donors and partners help ensure it stays that way.