Normal lung function was reported in only 51% of the people, with another 40% of the participants demonstrating a pattern of restrictive lung disease, which means that they could have small lungs. The prevalence of this disease was more in urban areas as compared to rural areas. The remaining 9% of the participants were found to have obstructive airways diseases like COPD or asthma, with this condition being a little more prevalent in rural areas than urban ones.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan released the results of the study on Wednesday virtually, and the study had been funded by the ministry itself. International Institute of Population Sciences conducted the study, along with several other institutes, including University of Southern California and Massachusetts-based Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health.
The study was conducted to gather information regarding the well-being of the older adult population, i.e. people aged 45 years or above, in India, based on continuous as well as reliable scientific data collected on health, mental, economic and social factors. The report cited principal investigator of the study Dr TV Sekher as saying that they were aiming to continue the study for the coming 25 years.
The doctor added that in terms of reach and size of sample, LASI is the largest longitudinal ageing study across the globe, adding that studies like this one have been conducted in a total of 41 countries, including Indonesia, China, Japan as well as Korea.
Dr Sundeep Salvi, former director of Pune-based Chest Research Foundation, was also a part of the study and he said that the abnormal lung function in 49% of the sample size was a worrisome finding, adding that the issue needed to be taken seriously to ascertain the causes as well as the risk factors associated with it.