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November is COPD Awareness Month

Let us be aware of this deadly COPD!!!

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term for a lung disease that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or a combination of both. These conditions make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs, and they cannot be fully reversed.  Overtime, the symptoms patients experience—shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, and sometimes excessive mucous production —usually worsen.

But there is hope.  Pulmonary rehabilitation and medicines can help individuals with COPD manage their symptoms, and may improve quality of life.

Most people develop COPD by smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke.  A small group of people are genetically predisposed to COPD through the deficiency of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin.

The most effective strategy to prevent COPD is to quit smoking.  Quitting smoking is also important for those who must manage COPD.

COPD sometimes is misdiagnosed as asthma or another health problem.  A breathing test called spirometry is necessary to determine if a person has COPD.

Did You Know?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

  • COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. (And the World Health Organization, predicts by 2030, it will also be the third-leading cause of death worldwide.)
  • COPD kills more than 120,000 Americans each year.
  • That’s one death every 4 minutes
  • More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD
  • An additional 12 million likely have COPD and don’t know it

Learn More Through the New COPD Guide and the ATS Patient Information Series

http://patients.thoracic.org/?p=2399

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