INTRODUCTION: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has a major impact on the health of an Individual and is a burden to the society.
AIM: To assess the attitudes towards COPD among smokers who are at a high risk of developing the disease in Ranga Reddy District, Telangana, India
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional survey conducted among five dental camps conducted in district of Ranga Reddy in current smokers (both bidi and cigarette) aged 45 years and older with a history of at least 10 pack(for cigarette)/bundle(for bidi)-years of smoking. The subjects were distributed over four age groups, which were 45‒49 years, 50‒59 years, 60‒69 years, and >70 Years. Data was collected through a pre-validated, close ended structured questionnaire divided into four parts regarding the participant’s demographics, current health status, symptoms, awareness of COPD, attitudes towards COPD and willingness to quit smoking. Data was analysed using SPSS version 21.0.
RESULTS: Of a total of 426 subjects, (male predominance 94.2%.) , people belonging to the age groups of 40-49 years and >70 years reported themselves being in “Good health”. Only 3.5% reported having to know COPD as a respiratory disease as compared to 24.9% of the population who recognised lung cancer as the most common respiratory disease. 46.2% subjects acknowledged that cough was a symptom most commonly associated with COPD. Only a few portion of the subjects (1.8%) were willing to visit a doctor for diagnosis of COPD. Willingness to quit smoking among the respondents was seen in only 24.7% of the population and 14.5% could not decide about the same.
CONCLUSION: Efforts are needed to be directed towards proper counselling and education of the people of Ranga Reddy district to prevent them from the ill-effects of Tobacco and its related diseases, especially COPD.