Lungs of nearly 50% of people aged 45 years or above have abnormal function, finds study

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January 7, 2021 1:18 PM

The study, LASI, Wave 1, had studied as many as 72,250 people aged 45 years or above along with their spouses in the year 2017-18.

lungs health in Indian adultsUnion Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan released the results of the study on Wednesday virtually. (Image: Getty Images via IE)

Abnormal lung function: Nearly half the people aged 45 years or more are faced with abnormal lung function, as per the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) results that were released on Wednesday. The study, LASI, Wave 1, had studied as many as 72,250 people aged 45 years or above along with their spouses in the year 2017-18. The sample was distributed among all the states and Union Territories in India, with the exception of Sikkim, according to a report in IE. Of the sample, as many as 55,186 individuals got spirometry tests conducted so that they could check their lungs’ health.

Normal lung function was reported in only 51% of the people, with another 40% of the participants demonstrating a pattern of restrictive lung disease, which means that they could have small lungs. The prevalence of this disease was more in urban areas as compared to rural areas. The remaining 9% of the participants were found to have obstructive airways diseases like COPD or asthma, with this condition being a little more prevalent in rural areas than urban ones.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan released the results of the study on Wednesday virtually, and the study had been funded by the ministry itself. International Institute of Population Sciences conducted the study, along with several other institutes, including University of Southern California and Massachusetts-based Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health.

The study was conducted to gather information regarding the well-being of the older adult population, i.e. people aged 45 years or above, in India, based on continuous as well as reliable scientific data collected on health, mental, economic and social factors. The report cited principal investigator of the study Dr TV Sekher as saying that they were aiming to continue the study for the coming 25 years.

The doctor added that in terms of reach and size of sample, LASI is the largest longitudinal ageing study across the globe, adding that studies like this one have been conducted in a total of 41 countries, including Indonesia, China, Japan as well as Korea.

Dr Sundeep Salvi, former director of Pune-based Chest Research Foundation, was also a part of the study and he said that the abnormal lung function in 49% of the sample size was a worrisome finding, adding that the issue needed to be taken seriously to ascertain the causes as well as the risk factors associated with it.

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