Chronic respiratory diseases are common and increasing in relative terms as causes of disability and death.
The two main conditions contributing to death and disability are asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Both are clinical diagnoses and are associated with narrowed airways and difficulty exhaling. Asthma has become more common in many countries in parallel with increasing prevalence of allergic sensitization. COPD, in particular, is an increasing burden as the world’s population ages and tobacco smoking increases in many low- and middle-income countries, especially among women. Systemic inflammation induced by smoking can also cause chronic heart failure, metabolic syndrome and other chronic diseases, which can contribute to the clinical manifestations and natural history of COPD. Therefore, COPD can no longer be considered a lung disease alone, as it is often associated with a wide range of systemic consequences.
A better understanding of the origin and consequences of systemic inflammation and potential therapies will most likely lead to better care of patients with COPD. Senescence is an irreversible process by which cells enter to a permanent cell cycle arrest with generalized molecular changes.
Senescent cells remain metabolically active and most of them show a secretory phenotype; through its secretion may induce senescence or cancer in other cells. The secretory cells in the so-called transient senescence may participate in embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and immune response. The deleterious changes associated with age affect the immune system members and the immune senescence cause poor response to vaccines and susceptibility to cancer and infections.
These latter are a frequent cause of asthma mostly in the elderly, the incidence is increasing in old people, and it may be related with those anatomical, physiological and immune changes caused by age, asthma chronicity and external agents.
New kids are on the block: bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis in the adult setting, new treatment for interstitial lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension. The goal of the congress is also to share the new pharmacological approaches to the complexity of respiratory diseases and their potential to modify the systemic effects of respiratory diseases. Digital health will be also addressed targeting the new digital medicine approach. All these important issues will be discussed in Prague, on November 15th - 16th, 2019