Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) refers to two lung diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The term COPD is used because both diseases cause chronic cough and shortness of breath, making it harder for people to breathe over time. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 125,000 deaths nationwide in 2007 - this represents one COPD death approximately every 4 minutes. While asthma is not included in COPD, people with asthma may be at risk for developing COPD over time.

Strategic Plan to Address COPD in California

The Strategic Plan to Address COPD in California represents a comprehensive plan for addressing the public health challenge of COPD. COPD is a preventable and treatable disease that is the third leading cause of death and impacts more than 1.5 million Californians. The Strategic Plan will help focus public attention on this important lung disease and provide a road map for the stakeholders in addressing it through preventing the occurence of COPD, improving the diagnosis and treatment, care, and improve the quality of life of those who already have it.



Webinars Raise Awareness of COPD 

Dr Richard Casaburi, MD, PHDTo recognize November as COPD Awareness Month, the American Lung Association in California hosted a webinar called “Addressing the challenge of COPD in California” to provide an overview of research on COPD prevalence, risk factors, diagnosis, the importance of spirometry, and the updated guidelines for the treatment of COPD.

The webinar was delivered by noted researcher and COPD expert Richard Casaburi, MD, PhD, Professor and Chief, Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine, Harbor at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. The webinar was supported by an educational grant from Boehringer Ingelheim. Click here to watch the webinar.

Better Breathers Clubs

Better Breathers Clubs (BBC) are a core program and resource of the American Lung Association in California.  The purpose of the club is to offer patient-centered and community-based educational opportunities and support to persons with chronic lung disease (especially COPD, but also asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [IPF], lung cancer, and other chronic lung diseases).  Better Breathers Clubs meet regularly and feature educational presentations on a wide range of topics such as: 

  • How COPD affects the lungs
  • Breathing techniques
  • Exercise
  • Talking with your physician
  • Medications and other treatment options
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Home health care
  • Lung transplants
  • Air pollution

To find a Better Breathers club near you, click here

BBC Newsletter - ThumbnailFor more information and to read our latest Better Breathers Club newsletter, click here.






Respiratory Rally

Our Respiratory Rally is a one-day conference for newly diagnosed COPD patients and their caregivers. The conference features medical speakers, motivational presenters, and sessions on a variety of topics about the disease. To find a Rally near you, click here.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs help persons with chronic lung disease including COPD improve function, respiratory symptoms, and quality of life. Patients and their caregivers learn more about medications, oxygen, nutrition, day-to-day strategies, avoiding hospitalizations, and appropriate exercises. For a list of programs in California, click here.

To learn more about COPD, click here

Click here to find an office near you.