2012 Volume 39 Issue 6 Pages 821-828
Lifestyle diseases (diseases of longevity or diseases of civilization) are diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer. Tobacco smoking as well as a lack of exercise may increase the risk of developing certain diseases, especially later in life. When considering lifestyle diseases in respiratory diseases, they can include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer as one of the comorbidities regarding COPD. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes or dust, also may contribute to COPD. COPD is a major cause of disability, and it's the nineth leading cause of death in Japan. More than 5 million people may have the disease and 90% of them do not even know it. COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit the ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent people from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of themselves. Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older people. COPD has no cure yet, and doctors don't know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help COPD patients feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease. Certain diseases, such as asthma appear at greater rates in young populations living in the western way. Their increased incidence is not related to age, so the terms of lifestyle diseases cannot accurately be used interchangeably for asthma. However, smoking certainly makes worsen the pathophysiology of asthma. A part of pathogenesis is linked to smoking in interstitial lung diseases. Respiratory diseases should be evaluated as lifestyle-related diseases.