The Garden City
February 12, 2005
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COPD Deaths on the
|Cancer? Going down. Coronary artery disease? Going down.
Cerebrovascular disease? Going down. COPD prevalence, going up. This is a
major public health problem, not only in the United States but also
worldwide, where the World Health Organization estimates that this will be
the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020. But COPD is largely
preventable, easily detected and at least partly treatable if detected
early. Why then does this problem continue to exist and grow?
It exists in part at least because prevention and early detection depend heavily on widespread public awareness about the diseases - and that is sorely lacking.
I am a COPD patient and a member of EFFORTS, (www.emphysema.net/), a nationwide Internet-based support group working to raise public awareness and thus contribute to a real reduction in the prevalence and social burden of COPD. We believe the media can provide the awareness that is missing now and thus make a real impact.
A great deal of useable information is available on the National Institutes of Health Web site at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Copd/Copd_WhatIs.html.