Although many people think that COPD and asthma are the same thing, this is not the case. Asthma is also a chronic respiratory disease that affects about 3 in 100 people. Asthma is more common in women than in men, except among the young, when it’s more common in boys than girls. The number of young people with asthma has fallen slightly in recent years.
Asthma and COPD are both respiratory diseases, but there are some differences. The airways of COPD patients are narrowed by damage, such as smoking. Unfortunately, no real cause for asthma can yet be given for certain, but some factors do increase the risk of asthma. These include genetic factors, children who were born prematurely or with a low birth weight, and children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy.
Asthma sufferers have periodic symptoms, but these are chronic among COPD patients. Treatment leads to more favourable results with asthma, and generally asthma sufferers can grow old with the disease. COPD, on the other hand, progressively worsens and reduces life expectancy.
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Together with COPD patients and researchers from the Radboudumc in Nijmegen, we worked for a long time on the MonitAir app. We are therefore very pleased that we have won the 2nd prize for the Medical Inspirator Award 2017. The app has already been downloaded more than 1000 times!