Respiratory health organisations from around the world have announced the inaugural World Bronchiectasis Day on Friday, 1st July 2022. This is being organised by an international committee co-chaired by Dr Tim Aksamit from Bronchiectasis and NTM 360 at the COPD Foundation, and Professor James Chalmers from the British Lung Foundation.
Bronchiectasis is a condition of the lungs where there is an abnormal increase in the size of the bronchi, which are the tubes that take air into the lung. Having big and baggy bronchi means that bacteria get caught in these tubes much more easily than they can in the normal narrow bronchi. As a result, patients with bronchiectasis often have chronically infected bronchi, and this is what causes most of the symptoms. The severity of bronchiectasis varies a lot between patients; some patients will only have mild disease and only know they have bronchiectasis as they require antibiotics for a chest infection once a year or so; others have severe disease which means they have to take antibiotics all the time and may even have problems with their breathing due to the chronic lung damage. Most patients with bronchiectasis are somewhere between these two extremes. The prevalence of bronchiectasis is increasing and raising awareness of this disease is becoming more and more important. 50% of cases are idiopathic, ie. we do not know why these patients have bronchiectasis, and research into this condition is integral.
Breathing Matters supports much needed research into bronchiectasis carried out at University College London (UCL) Respiratory and University College London Hospitals (UCLH).
Current research into bronchiectasis includes Bronch UK – a national research database and biobank of adults with bronchiectasis. Bronch UK has recruited over 1600 patients across the UK, including 160 patients from UCLH. Although everything was delayed by the pandemic, we have published a paper describing the Bronch UK study and the first set of results from the study.
BronchUK: protocol for an observational cohort study and biobank in bronchiectasis. ERJ Open Res. 2021 Apr 19;7(2):00775-2020. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00775-2020.
Professor Jeremy Brown (UCLH Bronchiectasis Lead and UCL Infection Research Lead reports, “Driven by the recognition of how common bronchiectasis is and the significant effects it has on health, research into this neglected disease has had a resurgence in recent years. There is an urgent need for better ways of identifying patients with disease that may worsen over time and for improved treatment options. Although there has been some advances in the last decade, we need to do a lot more in raising awareness and investing money into research of this condition.”
If you would like to donate towards our research, please click here.