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ATS and ERS publish policy statement on disparities in respiratory health
Date:9/30/2013

To address the global phenomenon of disparities in respiratory health, the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society have released an official policy statement in which each pledges its commitment to reducing health disparities between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups by continuing or initiating work with leaders from governments, academia, and other organizations to promote scientific inquiry and training, disseminate medical information and best practices, and monitor and advocate for public respiratory health.

The statement appears in the October 1 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

ATS Past President Dean Schraufnagel, MD, the senior deputy editor of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, served as lead author of the writing committee. "Respiratory diseases disproportionately affect socioeconomically disadvantaged groups and certain ethnic groups in both the United States and Europe," Dr. Schraufnagel says. "The morbidity and mortality associated with these disparities takes a huge toll, especially on children."

Klaus Rabe, MD, writing committee member and a past president of ERS, continued: "The effects of health disparities in Europe on respiratory disease are very pronounced. Individuals in lower social groups are not only more likely to have respiratory diseases, but, compared with other disorders, social inequality is associated with a larger proportion of deaths from these diseases."

ATS and ERS efforts to address health disparities include:

  • Increasing the numbers of under-represented minorities in adult and pediatric pulmonary and critical care medicine in North America.

  • Raising the level of pulmonary specialist education to a uniform, high-level across the European Union.

  • Support of programs that educate the public about activities such as smoking and drug-addiction and rare diseases that affect on
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Contact: Nathaniel Dunford
ndunford@thoracic.org
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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