Our lungs are in constant exchange with the outside world. They are therefore particularly exposed to environmental pollution or pathogens in the air. Accordingly, some lung and respiratory diseases are widespread common diseases. Statistically, one person in Germany dies every four minutes as a result of a lung and respiratory disease. The World Health Organization lists four lung diseases among the ten most common causes of death worldwide: One in five deaths is caused by lung disease or its consequences.
To date, most respiratory diseases have only therapies that provide symptomatic relief, not a cure. Therefore, it is even more important to develop new approaches and options for prevention, diagnosis and therapy through research into causes and disease mechanisms. Research must meet these challenges in a scientifically and structurally coordinated manner: in this way, it pools expertise in order to be able to treat lung diseases more successfully in the future.
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