Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Why does lung disease have Ireland fighting for breath? Watch RCSI MyHealth Lecture live here

12 April 2017

RCSI experts to explore diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, lung cancer and asthma at tonight's free public lecture

In Ireland, approximately one in five people will die of lung disease. We have the highest incidence rates of asthma in the world and lung cancer claims more lives here than any other cancer. In addition, rates of rare lung diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) in Ireland are among the highest in the world. So why are these rates so high? Find out by watching RCSI MyHealth lecture at 6.30pm on Wednesday 12th April 2017. The lecture is entitled "Why Does Lung Disease Have Ireland Fighting For Breath?" 


The lecture will be chaired by Professor Gerry McElvaney, Professor of Medicine, RCSI and Consultant Respiratory Physician at Beaumont Hospital and the event's speakers will discuss common lung and respiratory diseases and investigate why such conditions are so prevalent in Ireland. They will also discuss some rare lung conditions and will give some practical information and advice for people who may suffer from such respiratory issues.

Professor McElvaney will talk about rare lung conditions, such as Cystic Fibrosis, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and COPD and explain how these diseases affect patients. He will also explain how the drugs, used to treat such illnesses, work and why they are so expensive.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor McElvaney said, "It is true that, statistically, lung disease will kill one in five people in Ireland but what is not widely known is that on average, one in seven of us have an undiagnosed lung condition. The aim of this RCSI MyHealth lecture is to increase awareness of lung disease and to inform the public of how our research is informing the treatments of such diseases. We also want to give attendees some practical advice and information that they can take away from the session if they, or someone they know, who may have a lung ailment. This is important as one of the more worrisome aspects of being diagnosed with a lung disease is the uncertainty that surrounds it."

Asthma claims, on average, one life per week in Ireland, which has the highest rates of the condition in the world (2). Dr Dorothy Ryan, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Beaumont Hospital will address this serious disease and discuss treatments and offer some advice of what a patient can do if they are diagnosed, in order to manage their condition.

Dr Ross Morgan, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Beaumont Hospital will speak about why lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Ireland, outline the symptoms and highlight the importance of an early diagnosis for patients.

This RCSI MyHealth public lecture is free of charge; however registration is essential in order to guarantee a place. Register at For those who are unable to attend on the night, the lecture will also be live streamed at and you can join the conversation online, on the night, on Twitter at#RCSIMyHealth.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

Admission is free. Register online at