The number of Americans who report being aware of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increased by 4% between 2008 and 2010, but many people at risk are still unaware of the disease, according to a survey conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The survey found that 69% of adults said they were aware of COPD. Up to 30% of Americans, however, reported that they were unaware of the condition. Awareness increased steadily among current and former smokers as well as nonsmokers.
“COPD kills more than 120,000 adults each year. That’s one death every 4 minutes—more than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Yet people go undiagnosed and untreated because they don’t recognize the symptoms,” said James P. Kiley, PhD, director of the NHLBI’s Division of Lung Diseases. “Through the NHLBI’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign, we are focusing on empowering people with knowledge that can bring greater quality of life.”
To improve awareness of COPD symptoms, the NHLBI is launching a new public service announcement campaign that highlights common COPD signs and symptoms including: frequent shortness of breath, chronic cough, wheezing, and excessive phlegm production.
The NHLBI analyzed the results of the annual HealthStyles surveys of the public health attitudes, knowledge, practices, and lifestyle habits of consumers, conducted each year as part of the NHLBI’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign. The results represent a sample of 4,184 consumers through a mailed survey with a margin of error of ±1.5%. The surveys were conducted in summer 2010.
Source: National Institutes of Health