Respiratory societies help in bringing the world together for bronchiectasis

Respiratory societies help in bringing the world together for bronchiectasis - article image

1 July, 2024 

On World Bronchiectasis Day, members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies bring awareness to a chronic lung disease

In support of the third annual World Bronchiectasis Day, July 1, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the European Respiratory Society is a founding member, is joining the COPD Foundation and several global organizations to raise awareness, share knowledge, and discuss ways to reduce the burden of bronchiectasis for patients and their families worldwide.

This year’s World Bronchiectasis Day theme is focused on research and the importance of participation in clinical trials, how research can impact innovation in bronchiectasis diagnosis and treatment, and how registries work to aid research efforts.

Bronchiectasis is a lung disease that affects an estimated one million individuals worldwide of which roughly 400,000 are in the United States. The number of affected individuals is likely even higher due to the probability of misdiagnosis with bronchiectasis. In this illness, the airways become enlarged or scarred, making it difficult to clear mucus properly, leading to recurring lung infections. Symptoms include frequent coughing (often with thick, discolored mucus), sputum production, breathlessness, repeat chest infections, increased tiredness, unexplained fever, chills, sweats and weight loss, and chest pain.

In addition, bronchiectasis:

  • can occur at any age and is diagnosed by chest computed tomography (CT) scans.
  • causes a significant burden on patients and their families. It can lead to accelerated lung function loss which can result in long-term disability and premature death in adults.
  • has been associated with disparities in morbidity and mortality outcomes in the socioeconomic disadvantaged.

Although there is currently no cure, detecting and treating bronchiectasis early can improve quality of life and long-term health.

“As the prevalence of bronchiectasis increases, it is vital that we continue to advance research efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment of this chronic lung condition,” said Tim Aksamit, MD, medical director of Bronchiectasis and NTM 360, and a pulmonology and critical care medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA. “The COPD Foundation and its global lung health partners are dedicated to advocating for increased research and to providing free educational materials that can help improve the lives of those living with bronchiectasis.”

Learn more about bronchiectasis in this introduction video with Dr. Aksamit

For more information about participating in World Bronchiectasis Day and a full list of activities, visit