Carolinas HealthCare System

Facts About Lung Function and Disease

Did You Know?

  • More than 14 million cases of chronic bronchitis are reported each year.  
  • More women than men contract chronic bronchitis.
  • About 25.7 million cases of hay fever or allergic rhinitis (without asthma) are reported each year. 17.4 million of these are under age 45.
  • More people in the South have had hay fever, allergic rhinitis and chronic bronchitis than in any other region.
  • Over 8 million visits to office-based physicians each year are attributed to allergic rhinitis.
  • Emphysema ranks 14th among chronic conditions that cause 30 percent or more limitations in major or outside activity.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is as common as adult asthma.  
  • Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and even heart failure in severe cases.

Quick Facts About Tobacco Use and Lung Disease:

  • Smoking is responsible for 82 percent of chronic lung disease, including emphysema.  
  • Nonsmokers can develop lung cancer, although the vast majority who get lung cancer are current or former smokers.
  • In North Carolina, more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer.
  • More people die from lung cancer than colon, prostate and breast cancer combined.
  • Smoking cessation will definitely reduce an individual's risk of lung cancer.
  • Each year, exposure to secondhand smoke causes 150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, in U.S. infants and children younger than 18 years of age.
  • Some cigars contain as much tobacco as one whole pack of cigarettes. All increase risks for lip, mouth, tongue and lung cancer.
  • Dipping snuff is highly addictive - it has levels of nicotine equal to cigarettes and increases your chance of oral cancer by as much as 50 times.

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