Study: Low Pay and Damp Housing Driving Lung Disease Deaths in UK


According to a study, poorer people are much more likely to die from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) than wealthier patients because of damp housing and low pay. A survey of around 6,000 people living with COPD, one of the most common lung conditions in the United Kingdom, found that structural inequalities had a significant bearing on whether a patient would survive.

Out of around 4,000 people who suffered over two acute attacks per year, such as severe coughing, and breathlessness, 55 percent earned less than 20,000 pounds a year, and 13 percent lived in cold and damp houses.

The research, which was carried out by Asthma + Lung UK, builds on previous findings that poor people with COPD are five times more likely to die than wealthy people with the condition. Over 1.3 million people in the United Kingdom are affected by COPD, which is a group of lung conditions that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema, but many more people are believed to have the disease without knowing about it.

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The symptoms of COPD include breathlessness, wheezing, a constant cough, and coughing up phlegm, and an estimated 30,000 people generally die from COPD each year in the United Kingdom.

10 percent of the poorest people are now five times more likely to die with the COPD condition than the wealthy people, compared with four time of more likely a decade ago.