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:
"Addressing these inequalities is at the core of the missions of our societies," says ATS President Patricia Finn, MD, who helped draft the policy.
About the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine:
With an impact factor of 11.080, the AJRRCM is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Thoracic Society. It aims to publish the most innovative science and the highest quality reviews, practice guidelines and statements in the pulmonary, critical care and sleep-related fields.
Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society's 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy.
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