On September 7, the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the top medical journals in the world, published a new scientific discovery that the lung function of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could be improved and ameliorated by administering tiotropium.
It is discovered by a research team led by Prof. Ran Pixin, Prof. Zhou Yumin and Prof. Zhong Nanshan.
According to the research team, the lung function of people in the early stage of COPD will decrease dramatically. However, the research shows that long-term use of tiotropium can improve patients’ lung function and ameliorate this decline in lung function. It is predicted that an early treatment strategy is possible and effective for patients with mild COPD.
At present, most of the therapies for COPD mainly focus on treating patients' overt symptoms, such as dyspnea and chest distress. It is estimated that about 70% of COPD patients who display no obvious symptoms will benefit from the new discovery.
According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death in China. Since there are no obvious symptoms in the early stages, it is often not diagnosed until the best opportunity for treatment has passed.
The research team also suggests that people who are regularly exposed to biofuel smog should have regular pulmonary function tests, even if they have no cough, expectoration or polypnea.
Written by Steven
Edited by Simon