What is COPD? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is an umbrella term for two respiratory illnesses -- chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In 1998, approximately 107,000 Americans died of COPD. COPD's prevalence and death rate are rising. In 2020, COPD is projected to become the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD has a higher mortality rate than asthma. The highest increase in mortality has been in white women, as observed between 1960 and 1998. An estimated 30 million Americans have COPD. However, only 16 million adult Americans have been diagnosed with disease.
The good news is that there are many things people suffering with COPD can do to improve their quality of life.
They can be taught by nurses to learn the warning signs and when to call their physicians BEFORE they are in crisis. Without this knowledge, many seniors end up on a in a pattern of frequent trips to the emergency room and often must be hospitalized. With the proper education and tools, this cycle can be broken.
Second, some physical therapists and occupational therapists have specific training to help patients improve their stamina and adapt their environments so they can do more with less effort. To watch the videos produced by Simsbury Community TV and McLean to learn more about COPD and the help that is available, click here.