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November 1st 2016

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November is COPD Awareness Month! Therefore, we want to join the cause to spread the work and make a difference in the lives of those living with COPD, caregivers, advocates, and health professionals.

The www.copdfoundation.org provides valuable resources and information on helping define what COPD is and share the signs & symptoms in order to promote awareness. We have shared a portion of that information below:

What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases, encompassing emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma, and severe bronchiectasis. The disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.

Symptoms of COPD?

Symptoms include breathlessness, chronic coughing, and wheezing. Many people mistake their increased breathlessness and coughing as a normal part of aging.

Did you Know…

• The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute estimates that 15 million adults have COPD and another 12 million are undiagnosed or developing COPD.

• COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—twelve years earlier than predicted.

• COPD kills more women than men each year. In 2006, COPD killed more American women than breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

• Every four minutes an individual dies of COPD.

• COPD cost the U.S. government approximately $42.6 billion in both direct and indirect expenses in 2007. A majority of those expenses are due to hospitalizations, which can be prevented with better diagnosis and management practices.

• The WHO estimates that more than 300 million individuals worldwide have COPD and total deaths are expected to increase more than thirty percent in the next ten years.

• Smoking is not the only cause of COPD; second-hand smoke, occupational dust and chemicals, air pollution and genetic factors also cause this disease.

• COPD is relatively easy to diagnose using a spirometry machine, where the patient exhales as much as possible into a tube.

• There’s no cure yet for COPD but treatments are available to help individuals live with their COPD.

Reference www.copdfoundation.org for more information and resources.

Information courtesy of www.copdfoundation.org.
Image courtesy of www.copdfoundation.org.