As part of COPD Awareness Month in November, the CHEST Foundation and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals are encouraging Hispanics to learn more about COPD, and if they are at risk, to get tested.

Tome Un Respiro is a Spanish-language COPD awareness campaign was launched by CHEST and Sunovion to specifically target education among US Hispanics. The campaign also encourages clinicians, especially those who work regularly with the Hispanic population, to provide patients with Spanish language resources.

The US Hispanic population is now the fastest-growing minority segment in the nation, and it has become increasingly important to educate Hispanics about the risk factors and treatment options associated with COPD, according to CHEST and Sunovion. Now the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, COPD is estimated to affect 24 million people nationwide, half of whom remain undiagnosed.

“Many people who suffer from COPD may visit their doctor regularly but not mention shortness of breath because they think it’s normal,” said Mark J. Rosen, MD, Master FCCP medical director for CHEST. “Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of COPD is critical to getting patients and providers talking in the exam room — and ultimately to facilitating earlier diagnosis and treatment.”

“Among the Hispanic population, we often see these symptoms of COPD mistaken as a normal sign of aging or being out of shape,” said Henry McMillan, Director, Respiratory Marketing for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. who is the sponsoring organization of the campaign. “That is why in recognition of National COPD Awareness Month, we’ve dedicated ourselves to an ongoing effort of raising awareness among Hispanics and encouraging those who may be at risk to talk to their health care provider.”

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