The following factors are considered to act as triggers in COPD :
- Environmental air pollution
- Indoor pollution (smoke)
- Outdoor pollution (fumes, smog)
- Occupational pollution (toxic waste)
- Strong fumes of paints, perfumes, burning coal, etc.
- Kitchen smoke while cooking on solid fuels (like wood/coal) in an ill-ventilated kitchen.
- Cold weather
- Repeated throat and lung infections
EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM
A study done in 1980 revealed that 15 – 20 % of the middle aged men have chronic cough and produce sputum. Statistics show that increasing exposure to air pollution and smoking is responsible for the increase in this disease. It has been reported that 37.9% males in the age 65 – 74 years and 13.6% females in the same age group suffer from chronic bronchitis. About 12.3% males and 6.7% females in the age group of 45 – 64 years, suffer from chronic bronchitis.