Obstructive Pulmonary Disease — COPD for short —
consists of emphysema and chronic bronchitis,
and is the only major cause of death on the increase.
In fact, the World Health Organization estimates this
will be the third leading cause of death in the United
and worldwide by 2020.
But COPD is largely preventable, easily detected and
at least partly treatable if detected early. Why then
problem continue to exist and grow? In part, it's
because prevention and early detection depend on
awareness — and that is sorely lacking.
Thus, November 2005 has been proclaimed COPD
Awareness Month, and Nov. 16 World COPD Day to call
to this disease and how to control it.
If you are at risk for COPD — a family history of
lung disease, or a long-term smoker, or exposed to air
second-hand smoke, or toxic chemicals at work — make the
effort to get tested this month.
Do it even though you may have no noticeable symptoms
yet. The test is quick, painless and can be done right
doctor's office. Just blow hard in a tube for six
seconds — that's all there is to it. And it just might
be the best six-second
investment you ever made.
As of today, the governors of at least 23 states have
proclaimed November as COPD Awareness Month — but not
California. Although I sent a letter of request to our
governor, he did not reply.
June C. Johnson