Differences between asthma and COPD

There are common and distinctive features between asthma Y COPD However, the main difference between both diseases lies in the loss and recovery of lung function, as well as in the process of inflammation of the airways, explains the Dr. Alejandra Ramírez-Venegas, specialist of the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER).

According to the also Director of the COPD Clinic of the INER , the main difference between both respiratory diseases is that in the case of asthma (except for its chronic condition) there is the reversibility of air capacity, while in the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) It is lost gradually and without reversibility.

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Differences between asthma and COPD

It is estimated that there are around 7 million people in Mexico with asthma , reason why it is considered one of the ten main causes of specialty consultation; however, more than 50% of detected cases have been controlled, so it does not have a high mortality rate.

Instead, theCOPD , which is estimated to suffer nearly 2 million Mexicans, is considered the fifteenth cause of death in men and fourth in women, since its diagnosis is usually very late and the loss of lung function, which is even disabling .

"TheCOPD has a higher mortality rate than other diseases, such as breast, prostate, cervical cancer or that HIV is AIDS, "explains the INER specialist.

Prevalence is another of the major differences between both diseases, because most of the cases of asthma They are diagnosed in children and under 14 years of age, which is accentuated in those who have a high susceptibility to different allergens.

On the contrary, theCOPD it is commonly registered in adults, and the disease is aggravated especially with age and in those who have been or are smokers (passive or active).

The oxidative stress or oxidative activity is a characteristic of both asthma and COPD , although it is more important in the latter because it generates an increase in hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, mucus secretion and bronchoconstriction. All this intervenes in the bronchial obstruction and the destruction of the pulmonary parenchyma.

The response to treatment is different in both, explains Ramírez-Vanegas, due to the inflammation that characterizes the asthma it is suppressed notably by corticoids, which inhibit almost all phases or aspects of inflammation; however, they have a very limited action in the COPD .

There are several more differences between the asthma Y COPD , as well as common characteristics, such as wheezing, so, according to the specialist, only through a diagnosis and adequate forecasts can the best treatment conditions for each one be established.

Video Medicine: STEP Asthma and COPD: Similarities and Differences (September 2022).