Canary has had to reduce its screening objectives for the population susceptible to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to enhance the early diagnosis of this pathology as a result of covid-19, which has forced the initiative to be paralyzed, as reported on Tuesday by its Ministry of Health.
The department proposed that this early diagnosis would have been made to 25% of the affected population at the end of this year, but its plans have been truncated due to the epidemiological situation that has been going on since March, which “has caused spirometry, the test used to screen, to be suspended due to the strong production of aerosols it generates “, explains in a statement.
It details that the prevalence of COPD is lower than in most of the autonomous communities in the Canary Islands, where it affects 7.3% of the population over 40 years of age, compared to the 11.8% average in Spain, despite the archipelago having one of the highest smoking rates in the country, as 17.79% of its inhabitants over 14 years old smoke.
In any case, the Ministry of Health emphasizes that the disease “represents a public health problem of great magnitude“, to the point that “in the countries of our surroundings it constitutes the fourth cause of death”Therefore, it is committed to “drawing attention to the importance of prevention and early detection”.
And remember that main risk factors To develop COPD are exposure to tobacco smoke, active and passive smokers, environmental pollution and inhalation of dust particles and chemicals in the workplace.
Faced with them, he emphasizes that the Canary Islands Health Service has had a Smoker Assistance Program since 2013 and since 2018 with an initiative of the Integrated Assistance Process for COPD, which includes the early diagnosis tests now interrupted as a result of the pandemic.