Report: 15 million diagnosed with COPD in US

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WASHINGTON – Fifteen million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many more may have the debilitating condition but don’t know it, according to a government study. The highest prevalence for the disease is clustered around the Ohio and lower Mississippi rivers, according to data compiled by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who studied the prevalence of COPD in each state. Researchers found the disease had lower prevalence as income increased. Just over 36% of those with COPD indicated they were former smokers, and just over 38% of those with COPD continue to smoke. About 43% of those reporting COPD have a history of asthma. “These findings illustrate that we still need improvement in raising awareness about COPD and its diagnosis and management,” stated James Kiley, Ph.D., director of the Division of Lung Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). “COPD can be well controlled, but it’s critical to diagnose it early and to follow the appropriate therapeutic strategies.”

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