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Over 50% smokers under 40 develop COPD in Kashmir: New Study

Srinagar, Nov 23:  Smoking is the main cause for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) among the people below the age of 40 in Kashmir, a new study has revealed.

 Entitled ‘Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases among Adults in Kashmir’, the 2018 research was conducted by Asif Jeelani, Irfan Nazir Mir, Mir Mujtaba Ahmad, Waseem Raja and Seema Aleem of Department of Community Medicine, Department of Surgery, Department of Microbiology of Government Medical College Srinagar, and Department of Surgery HIMR New Delhi.


The objective of the study was to find out the prevalence of COPD and its associated risk factors in the age group of 40 years. Nearly 1025 patients –521 males and 504 females—were studied for the research.

. “COPD prevalence was 28.2 percent among current smokers and 22 percent among ex-smokers in Kashmir. Percentage of current smokers in males who developed COPD was 32.9 % and 23.2% females. The stage 1 COPD prevalence was 15.90% or higher among males,” the study revealed. 

COPD is associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and lungs to noxious particles and gases. Inhaled noxious particles most important being the tobacco smoke, cause inflammatory response in the lungs which is exaggerated in some smokers and leads to characteristic pathological lesions of COPD.

According to the study, COPD represents an important challenge that is both preventable and treatable. “The increase in mortality will be largely due to cumulative exposure of the population to cigarette smoke and the expected aging of the population,” the study noted.

It has found that prevalence of COPD among women using smoking forms of tobacco was less than the males. “This can be attributed to the fact that the duration and amount of smoking was less in female gender than males,” read the study.

Recent studies have projected that in near future the gap between COPD prevalence in males and females will decrease because women are more vulnerable to develop the disease. Various surveys reveal that 26.6% population of Jammu and Kashmir is using tobacco product in one or the other of its form.