COPD Foundation Issues Alert About Increased Risk Outside of Smoker Population, Leads Campaign During November COPD Awareness Month

During November, COPD Awareness Month, the COPD Foundation calls for increased vigilance and encourages individuals to determine their level of risk for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) by taking the five-question COPD Risk Screener at COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US, and the only major disease to increase in frequency over the past three decades, indicating effects of genetic, environmental and occupational risk factors.

“We’ve reached a critical turning point in our fight against COPD, with growing evidence that COPD has progressed outside of the smoker population,” says John W. Walsh, president and co-founder of the COPD Foundation. “This month-long campaign will help to intensify efforts to raise awareness that the number of people who have COPD is on the rise – more than 12 million are currently diagnosed, and an estimated 12 million more may have COPD but not realize it.”

COPD, a term used to describe major lung diseases characterized by increasing breathlessness, discomfort and disability, kills more American women than breast cancer and diabetes combined, with chronic bronchitis being twice as likely to be diagnosed in women as in men.

“Given its growing prevalence and increase among non-smokers, the time has come to focus greater attention on this growing public health crisis,” Walsh adds. “The COPD Foundation remains committed to raising awareness about the enormous burden of COPD, urging individuals, communities, policy makers and influential public figures to learn more about COPD and support efforts to attract more government research dollars for research, treatment and, ultimately, a cure.”

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SOURCE: COPD Foundation