Impact of COPD on Quality of Life, The EPICAsia Phil. Data

Have you heard of COPD, or just familiar with the terms asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis?  Do we understand what COPD is? Last week I was invited to EPICAsia Press Conference held at the Makati Shangri-La.

Impact of COPD on Quality of Life, The EPICAsia Phil. Data
With Dr. Realiza, Dr. De Guia and Dr. Barnes


They set up a COPD Simulation for us to experience what real COPD patience are going through. As a nurse, I’ve seen COPD patients during acute exacerbation, both young and adult and even the very young (infants) and elderly but I haven’t experience what it is to be a patient with COPD so I tried the simulation.

The recently held EPIC Asia Survey (Epidemiology and Impact of COPD in Asia) shows that COPD affects the quality of life and work productivity. First, Dr. Tomas Realiza, a diplomate in Internal Medicine and a fellow of the Philippine College of Physicians gave us an overview of COPD.

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COPD acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a life-threatening lung disease characterized by difficulty of breathing or breathlessness, excessive production of sputum and chronic cough. Patients over 40 years old are more prone of developing COPD. Risk factor includes prolong cigarette smoking,  genetic susceptibility, infection, socio-economic factors and history of tuberculosis

COPD patients refers to those who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic airway disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, chronic bronchitis or emphysema or who are undiagnosed and meet symptomatic criteria bronchitis, frequent coughing with phlegm/sputum from the chest for 3 or more months per year for 2 or more years or repeatedly short of breath for 3 or more moths per year for 2 or more years.

I like what Dr. Realiza said “Cigarette smokers look sophisticated today but suffocated tomorrow”
Dr. Teresita De Guia, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from the Phil. Heart Center discussed the Prevalence and Impact of COPD giving us the EPIC Asia Philippine Data.
Undertaken by TAKEDA, a global pharmaceutical company, the EPIC Asia Survey is a large-scale, community-based study and the first of its kind in Asia. The survey screened over 112, 000 households in countries such as the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore to gather insights. Over 1,800 respondents with either diagnosed or suspected COPD across Asia including 200 respondents from our country and has provided greater insight into the burden, perception and understanding of this progressive and deadly lung disease.

Significant result of the EPICAsia survey:
  • 1 of 4 of those with COPD symptoms in surveyed countries remain undiagnosed.
  • COPD poses a heavy burden in Asia, particularly in the Phil: Among the Filipino respondents, 62% were unable to work, and 70% of those able to work full-time or part on average miss 14 days at work.
  • Majority of sufferers worry about COPD lung attacks affecting their quality of life
  • Once daily tablet, roflumilast – a first-class treatment is launched to target the underlying cause of COPD and reduce risk of COPD lung attacks.


Dr. Neil Barnes from the London Chest Hospital in UK presented the latest innovations in COPD management including addressing COPD related inflammation and COPD lung attacks. He also mentioned Roflumilast, an orally administered drug that inhibits COPD relate inflammation. Other forms of treatment includes bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

Prof Neil Barnes of The London Chest Hosp UK (2)

The EPICAsia Press Conference revealed significant findings and provides awareness of this life-threatening disease called COPD. I do not want to experience acute or chronic breathlessness or difficulty of breathing nor see my loved ones suffer from the disease. For patients experiencing signs and symptoms, this could be the right time to seek medical advise, diagnosed and get treatment. COPD is preventable and can be managed, we just need to be educated. Early diagnosis Is also significant. Attending such conferences gives us an overview and a better understanding of the disease called COPD.

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