In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert declared November as an awareness month for both COPD and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a rare genetic condition that can lead patients to develop COPD.
Although there is no cure for COPD, increased awareness, early detection and care can reduce costs and improve the quality of life for Utahns with the condition, Herbert said.
In the BRFSS survey, 70.3 percent of the Utahns with COPD said it had affected their quality of life. Half had seen a doctor for their symptoms in the preceding year.
COPD often is associated with a history of cigarette smoking, and with a history of asthma, the CDC noted. Among the 39,038 survey respondents nationwide, 36.4 percent were former smokers, 38.7 percent were current smokers, and 43.7 percent had a history of asthma.
It is the primary contributor to deaths caused by chronic lower respiratory diseases, which became the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2008, the CDC noted.
Herbert's proclamation noted outreach efforts by National Heart Lung Blood Institute such as its Learn More Breathe Better campaign and DRIVE4COPD by the COPD Foundation, which also offers a screening page.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of progressive, debilitating respiratory conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, characterized by difficulty breathing, lung airflow limitations, cough, and other symptoms.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention