Launching action plan to respond the "World COPD Day"

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a common preventable and treatable disease, is characterized by persistent airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lung to noxious particles or gases(1).
  • COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide and also one of the 10 most disabling diseases globally (2)
  • The main cause of COPD is smoking. An estimated 329 million people have COPD worldwide (3).

Ho Chi Minh City, on 15th November 2016, HCMC Respiratory Society collaborates with GSK Pte Ltd.’s representative Office in HCMC launch the action plan in response to "Global Day of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease", with a commitment to accompany the community in the fight to repel Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a common preventable and treatable disease, is characterized by persistent airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lung to noxious particles or gases. Exacerbations and comorbidities contribute to the overall severity in individual patients.

Tobacco smoking is the main cause of COPD (4). A clinical diagnosis of COPD should be considered in any patient who has breathlessness, chronic cough or increased production of phlegm, and a history of exposure to risk factors for the disease.

Comorbidities occur frequently in COPD patients, including cardiovascular disease, skeletal muscle dysfunction, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, depression, and lung cancer. Given that they can occur in patients with mild, moderate and severe airflow limitation and influence mortality and hospitalizations independently, comorbidities should be actively looked for, and treated appropriately if present.

COPD ranks third in the causes of death and one of 10 most disabling diseases worldwide. An estimated 329 million people have COPD worldwide and this number continues to increase in the coming decades due to increased exposure of COPD risk factors and the older status of population. In Vietnam, the rate of COPD in the community aged 40 years and older was 4.2% which is 7.1% males and 1.9% females (5). COPD patients often occupy 25% of the beds in respiratory medicine and intensive care room always mechanically ventilated with COPD patients. COPD causes Vietnam’s social burden from direct treatment costs such as: medical bills, examination and indirect costs such as missed work due to lower labor productivity, quit school, quit job to save time for treatment.

In World COPD Day 2016, HCMC Respiratory Committee and a GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd.’s representative office in HCMC share different aspects of this disease. Even we cannot cure completely, but COPD can be prevented and treated symptomatically. The detection and early treatment of COPD reduces the deleterious consequences of the disease as well as the risk of death and socio-economic burden. Therefore, to raise the awareness of people about COPD, as well as update prevention and treatment’s knowledge for medical staffs becoming even more urgent.

With COPD’s patients, process of control and strictly follow the indications treatment from doctor is very important. In addition, patients need to actively prevent from pathogens such as: not smoking, avoiding exposure to dust, smoke, especially tobacco smoke; avoid strenuous physical activities, and especially keep the environment clean. This is practical action, not only protects the individual's health, but also contribute to improving the quality health for the whole community.

Associate Professor Doctor Dr. Tran Van Ngoc, Chairman of the HCMC Respiratory Society said: "Although not completely cured, but COPD patients may live normal or relatively normal if detected early and treated properly. But in fact, majority of COPD patients found in heavy or very heavy periods due to the initial disease manifestations are similar to other respiratory diseases. On the other hand, the burden of treatment cost often discourages and drops patients out of treatment. To face with this big challenge, in addition to investment and development, ensuring the availability of diagnostic methods and treatment of COPD at the grassroots level, the health care industry needs to promote media awareness education of COPD to people as well as regular training, advanced technical knowledge to medical staffs".

In accompany with HCMC Respiratory Social, GSK Pte Ltd’s Head of the representative office in HCMC, Mr. James Strenner said: "GSK is pleased to collaborate with HCMC Respiratory Society joining hands in response to Global Day of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, contributing in repelling COPD in Vietnam. Throughout the years, GSK strives in research and development, to ensure that COPD patients have access to our respiratory medicine product easier. Besides, we also contribute to new breakthroughs in treatments for COPD patients, to improve the condition of disease as well as quality of life."

The World COPD Day is held by GOLD (Global Strategy of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), in collaboration with professional health staffs and COPD patient groups throughout the world. The goal of World COPD Day is to strengthen the understanding of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and improve COPD care throughout the world. The first World COPD Day was held in 2002. Every year the organizer in more than 50 countries starts to conduct activities, making it the most important events and educational information about COPD.

More information of COPD, please visit


About Ho Chi Minh City Respiratory Social

HCMC Respiratory Society (abbreviated HRS) was established on 03 Feb 2007, operating within Ho Chi Minh City and a member of HCMC Medical Association.

Purposes and operation principles of HCMC Respiratory Society is to gather, unite and motivate science and technology staffs specialized in Respiration through all fields activities and economic sectors; strive to learn, work and participate in the scientific and technical construction and development of Respiratory; help each other to constantly improve professional capacity, in accordance with professional practice standards and ethical obligations of health-care professionals in Vietnam, contributing positively to the protection and enhancement of people's health . The association operates in both field of internal and surgical Respiratory, based on an advanced medicine imbued with national identity, from the hospital to the patient's family and the community.

About GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GSK - one of the leading research and development pharmaceutical companies and health care - is committed to improving human health, helping people to work more effective, feel better and live longer. For more information, visit our website at

The data on COPD

COPD is a common disease in the world as well as in Vietnam. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012, the disease was rated 3rd position in the causes of death worldwide, killing more than 3 million people(2).

COPD is a costly disease for medical expenses and loss of working capacity of the whole society. Analysis of statistical data on the economic burden of COPD in some countries and some areas show direct and indirect costs and related to disease is really huge. Exp. COPD contributes 50% of health care cost for respiratory diseases in Europe; Estimated annual costs for COPD and damage caused by reduced labor productivity up to 48.4 billion euros(6).

In Vietnam, the rate of COPD in the community from 40 years old and above was 4.2%, men 7.1%, women: 1.9%; rural areas: 4.7%, 3.3% in urban and mountainous 3.6%; North: 5.7%, Central: 4.6%, South: 1.9%. Based on estimated figures in our country, there are 1.3 million COPD patients need to have diagnosis and treatment (5). 

In the field of hospital treatment, COPD is a disease also accounted for the highest percentage in the pulmonary department. In Bach Mai Hospital’s Respiratory Center, COPD patients with daily treatment account for ¼ of patients are treated (7)

The actual incidence of COPD is even higher (many patients are not diagnosed) because many patients do not regularly take the periodic health examination, even with tobacco cases, pipe tobacco, appearing long sputum coughing, these patients often think simply that cough occurs in pipe tobacco smokers is normal. Besides, there are numerous number of patients had been omitted cause the disease is not detected in a systematic way in the enterprise agencies and even in the doctor's clinic.


  1. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Global strategy for the diagnosis, management and prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”, update 2015. Hoặc Decramer M, Janssens W, Miravitlles M (tháng 4 năm 2012). “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”. Lancet 379 (9823): 1341–51
  2. World Health Organization. The top 10 causes of death. Truy cập tháng 10 năm 2015.
  3. Vos et al. Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 2015: 386(9995); 743-800
  5. World Health Organization. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Truy cập tháng 10 năm 2015. Hoặc: Đinh Ngọc Sỹ, Nguyễn Viết Nhung và CS, Dich tễ học bệnh phổi tắc nghẽn mạn tính (COPD ở Việt Nam và các biện pháp dự phòng, điều trị. Đề tài cấp nhà nước mã số KC.10.02/06-10, nghiệm thu 2010
  6. European Lung White Book. The cost of respiratory disease. Truy cập tháng 10 năm 2015.