Pulmonary disease campaign begun
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 5, 2007
A national campaign was launched Jan. 18 by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and numerous professional groups to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the fourth-leading cause of death in the nation.
The campaign will feature public service announcements, fact sheets and other information for patients and physicians.
More than 12 million people currently are diagnosed with the disease, while many more may have it but remain undiagnosed. People older than 45 with a history of smoking are at risk for COPD, which is also referred to as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Diagnosis is confirmed with spirometry.
Treatments are effective at controlling symptoms, improving exercise capacity and prolonging life, according to the NHLBI.
In the past, COPD was primarily a disease among older men. Now the disease affects men and women, with more women dying of COPD each year. COPD also costs the U.S. economy an estimated $32.7 billion per year in health care expenditures and indirect costs of morbidity and mortality, the institute said.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/02/05/hlbf0205.htm.