Bradford South MP, Judith Cummins is calling for increased awareness of lung disease and a co-ordinated effort among politicians and policy-makers to prioritise respiratory health. Judith joined the British Lung Foundation as new data from the charity, launched at an event in Parliament, revealed that over 800,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber are living with a lung condition.
The data also showed that Yorkshire and the Humber has a higher rate of hospital admissions than the rest of the UK for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this country’s third biggest killer. Currently an estimated 100,000 people are living with the disease in the region, and around 10,000 new cases are being diagnosed every year.
Yorkshire and the Humber has the highest incidence and the third highest prevalence of pulmonary fibrosis (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) in the UK, with over 5,600 people living with the condition. Within the last decade the number of people living with pulmonary fibrosis has increased significantly and is now around a third higher than it was in 2004.
Speaking after the British Lung Foundation event, Judith Cummins MP said “Shockingly over 800,000 people in Yorkshire and Humber are living with a lung condition – in reality the number could be much higher. For example, it is estimated that two thirds of people with COPD, for which the Yorkshire and the Humber has the highest rate of hospital admissions, are living with the condition undiagnosed. It is clear that dramatic improvements need to be made and it is time respiratory diseases are given the prioritisation they deserve.”
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said “For far too long, the true burden of respiratory disease has been underestimated in this country. One person dies from lung disease every five minutes in the UK, making it the third biggest killer in the UK, yet little has been done to tackle this tragedy.
“This is unacceptable and it is high time lung disease is made a priority. If we are to halt the ever growing burden of lung disease on our country we urgently need more investment in research and more emphasis on improved prevention, earlier diagnosis and high quality services.”
For further information, please visit www.blf.org.uk. For help and support, call the BLF Helpline on 03000 030 555. To donate £5 to help the BLF fight lung disease, please text LUNGS to 70500.