Recent trends

Over the first decade of the 21st century, age-standardised rates of mortality from lung diseases have declined across the EU, as illustrated for selected countries in figure 8. Similar trends have occurred for mortality in other EU countries. In contrast, there has been little change in the crude, unstandardised respiratory mortality rates for the same countries over this 10-year period, due to the ageing of the European population, and the tendency for mortality rates to be higher in the elderly. In non-EU countries, both crude and age-standardised mortality rates have changed little over the past decade.

Age-standardised rates of hospital admission have been stable in most countries (figure 9), and this pattern is similar for crude admission rates. The impact of lung diseases on in-patient health services has diminished substantially only in Latvia and Lithuania, countries which formerly had high rates.

One of the factors underlying the decline in age-standardised rates of mortality and hospital admissions is the generally favourable trend in smoking over the past four decades, at least in western European states (figure 10). Nevertheless, higher rates of smoking in earlier years contribute to the burden of lung disease now, and will continue to do so for several decades. There is still considerable room for improvement, both among men and women, and in several countries smoking rates in women have changed little over the past 20 years (figure 10b).

 

Percentage of deaths worldwide 2008 2015 2030
Lower respiratory infections 6.1 5.5 4.2
COPD 5.8 6.6 8.6
Trachea/bronchus/lung cancer 2.4 2.8 3.4
Tuberculosis 2.4 1.6 3.4
Percentage of deaths in WHO European region 2008 2015 2030
Lower respiratory infections 2.3 2.2 1.9
COPD 2.5 2.7 3.2
Trachea/bronchus/lung cancer 3.9 3.9 4.1
Tuberculosis 0.8 0.7 0.4
Table 3 – Projected proportion of deaths due to leading respiratory causes. COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease. Source: World Health Organization World Health Statistics 2011.

 

Percentage of DALYs worldwide 2008 2015 2030
Lower respiratory infections 5.4 4.6 3.2
COPD 2.3 2.7 3.8
Trachea/bronchus/lung cancer 0.9 1.0 1.4
Tuberculosis 2.0 1.6 1.1
Percentage of DALYs in WHO European region 2008 2015 2030
Lower respiratory infections 1.5 1.3 1.0
COPD 2.0 2.0 2.2
Trachea/bronchus/lung cancer 2.2 2.2 2.6
Tuberculosis 1.2 1.1 0.6
Table 4 – Projected disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost due to leading respiratory causes. COPD: chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease. Source: World Health Organization World Health Statistics 2011.

See the entire Burden of Lung Disease Chapter