GENESEO, N.Y., Nov. 7, 2022 – November is National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month, which is a time to recognize and support the more than 24 million Americans who battle this disease on a daily basis.
An umbrella term for both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, COPD refers to a group of lung diseases that can interfere and significantly hinder normal breathing functions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
While the causes of COPD are not fully understood, it is generally accepted that the most significant cause related to the disease is smoking cigarettes. Other causes such as pollution and occupational exposures may also play a leading role especially when combined with cigarette smoking.
It is estimated that 13.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD while another 12 million adults in the United States have COPD, but have not been formally diagnosed. Additionally, it is estimated that COPD has a $49.9 billion annual economic impact stemming from hospital and emergency room visits, lost productivity and healthcare costs.
Among those currently living with COPD, 51 percent say the disease limits their ability to work while 53 percent find COPD significantly limits their social activities.
The most effective way to prevent COPD, or potentially reduce symptoms related to the disease, is to refrain from smoking cigarettes. COPD can be diagnosed with a simple breathing test call spirometry, which can detect COPD before the on-set of symptoms. Consult your healthcare provider about testing or treatment options or to have any questions that you may have related to COPD answered.
Learn more about COPD, symptoms, treatment options and more by visiting the American Lung Association’s website.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.