Former smokers may believe they are out of the woods because they quit, but nearly half of COPD patients are former smokers rather than current smokers, according to Amy Pianalto, project director of the NHBLI's "Learn More, Breathe Better" awareness campaign (www.learnaboutCOPD.org), which is sponsoring radio and print ads and offers materials for both doctors and patients.Click here to read the article (subscription required). Speaker resources on this topic are available here.
Second-hand smoke, air pollution and workplace exposure to pollutants like chemicals, dust and fumes can also trigger the disease. An estimated 100,000 Americans also have a genetic disorder known as alpha-1 antitrypsin, or AAT, deficiency that makes them susceptible even without any kind of exposure.
"There are 12 million people in this country who are coughing and can't breathe who don't know they have COPD," says Molly McGuire, administrator of the nonprofit COPD Foundation (COPDFoundation.org). "It has been a slow process getting everyone connected to resources."
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
From the Wall Street Journal article: