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Enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva, cuarto lugar de morbimortalidad

Fecha: 
Vie, 2014-02-21

Afecta a 8 millones de personas y es causa de 17 mil muertes por año: Iner

De 60 a 85% de los pacientes con Epoc moderado permanecen sin un diagnóstico adecuado

Estiman que 50% de los afectados son menores de 68 años y se jubilan de manera anticipada

Foto
Noventa por ciento de los casos de Epoc son por tabaquismo y se estima que para 2020 será la tercera causa de fallecimiento después de las enfermedades cerebro-vasculares e infartosFoto Jesús Villaseca
César Arellano
 
Periódico La Jornada
Viernes 21 de febrero de 2014, p. 40

La Enfermedad Pulmonar Obstructiva Crónica (Epoc) se ubica en el cuarto lugar de morbimortalidad anual en el país al afectar a 8 millones de personas y es la causa de 17 mil muertes al año, señalaron especialistas del Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias (Iner) y del Hospital General de México.

Perjudica a 7.8 por ciento de la población mayor de 40 años y se presenta principalmente por el consumo del tabaco cuando una persona tiene enfisema pulmonar y bronquitis crónica.

Explicaron que 90 por ciento de los casos detectados son por tabaquismo y se estima que para 2020 sea la tercera causa de muerte, después de enfermedades cerebro-vasculares e infarto al miocardio.

Comentaron que el Epoc es de los padecimientos respiratorios crónicos más frecuentes y graves que está subdiagnosticado.

De 60 a 85 por ciento de los pacientes con Epoc moderado permanecen sin un diagnóstico correcto, mientras 64 por ciento de las evaluaciones son erróneas debido a que los hospitales no cuentan con los instrumentos necesarios para hacer una prueba diagnóstica denominada espirometría, que mide la cantidad y velocidad del aire inspirado y espirado.

Manifestaron que cuando el paciente al fin es diagnosticado con esta enfermedad, más de 50 por ciento de su función pulmonar se ha perdido, ya que la enfermedad es incurable debido a que el daño pulmonar es permanente y lo único que se puede hacer es detener la dolencia y elevar la calidad de vida de los pacientes.

Resulta aberrante que no se pueda realizar la espirometría a las personas que se presume padecen la enfermedad.

De acuerdo con encuestas, indican que sólo 1.1 por ciento de los pacientes se habían hecho este estudio en los pasados 12 meses: es como si se diagnosticara hipertensión sin tomar la presión. Lo anterior hace que más de 60 por ciento de los diagnósticos sean errados, lo que hace difícil mejorar las estadísticas del padecimiento, dijo Rafael Hernández, jefe de la Clínica de Epoc del Iner.

El especialista indicó que a escala mundial la enfermedad afecta a alrededor de 210 millones de personas y que entre los principales factores de riesgo para desarrollar el padecimiento están fumar, inhalar químicos, humo de carbón, leña, gases y polvos.

El también integrante de la Sociedad Mexicana de Neumología dijo que la mayoría de los pacientes con Epoc están en la etapa más productiva de sus vidas.Entre 20 y 40 por ciento de quienes padecen Epoc se jubilarán prematuramente. A medida que la edad avanza la Epoc se agrava y afecta más a personas en edad productiva, porque los síntomas matutinos pueden afectar la vida laboral de manera dramática, señalan.

Por separado, el neumólogo Jesús Vázquez, jefe de sección de Epoc de la Sociedad Mexicana de Neumología y Cirugía de Tórax, explicó que las rutinas de las personas se ven afectadas por la enfermedad y que muchos pacientes refieren que la falta de aire, sobre todo por las mañanas, afecta su vida cotidiana debido a que retrasa actividades sencillas como levantarse, ducharse, vestirse, por mencionar algunas.

La Epoc se considera a menudo, agregó, una enfermedad reciente, pero se estima que 50 por ciento de las personas con el padecimiento son ahora menores de 68 años, con un aumento del ausentismo laboral, la jubilación anticipada y la reducción de participación de la fuerza de trabajo.

Como tiene una evolución lenta, generalmente se diagnostica en personas de 40 años o más, señaló Vázquez, quien destacó que hoy existen tratamientos efectivos para tratar el Epoc, el cual si bien no tiene cura ni se pueden revertr los daños, sí puede mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas.

Existen broncodilatadores cada vez más potentes, el más novedoso es el Glycopyrronium, sustancia que actúa a los cinco minutos y permanece activa por 24 horas, concluyó.