The CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) recently launched a new chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) campaign with the slogan “Take Control. Live Well,” as part of National COPD Awareness Month, which is taking place in November. The campaign is designed to encourage patients to live better and improve their symptoms with a healthier lifestyle, as well as by working in collaboration with healthcare providers and monitor their condition daily.
The campaign is being launched to not only help patients, but also their families and caregivers to provide information as a way of improving understanding and management of COPD. The foundation has made available a “Lifestyle Management Tool” and “Living Well With COPD” booklet, comprised of steps and practical tips for COPD patients to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Educational materials and more information on the “Take Control. Live Well” campaign may be found at livewellCOPD.com.
“COPD is a serious illness that can strongly damage one’s quality of life, but it doesn’t always have to be that way,” explained the Medical Director of CHEST, Mark J. Rosen, MD, Master FCCP. “Beyond practical health management steps, we encourage people with COPD to talk to their doctors about action plans to live well with COPD. They should also seek advice for continuing their quality of life activities, such as exercising, traveling, and participating in leisure activities, all of which are possible with a good plan in place.”
Even though COPD is the third-leading cause of death among Americans, half of the 24 million people living with the disease in the United States are not diagnosed, according to the American Lung Association. It had for years been considered a disease specific to men, however, 37 percent of the patients have been found to be women, and since 2000 the disease has killed more women than men.
The life-threatening lung disease causes cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing, as well as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. The most likely way to develop the disease is through smoking habits, but other behaviors like having a profession exposed to smoke or harmful vapors may also cause it.
CHEST has been working for years to advance patients’ outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, research, and care. In addition, the foundation has been focused on supporting patient and public education programs, community service and humanitarian programs, as well as youth tobacco prevention programs.
“Take Control. Live Well” is sponsored by biopharmaceutical company AstraZena, and its vice president of medical affairs, Chris Blango, believes that “when COPD patients are informed, they can be more empowered to make decisions towards managing their condition.” “We are pleased to be involved with an initiative that provides these patients with resources they can use along their journey,” he added.