American Lung Association Applauds Launch of COPD Awareness Campaign

Americans Must Know More about 4th Leading Cause of Death

(January 18, 2007)

American Lung Association Applauds Launch of COPD Awareness Campaign

Americans Must Know More about 4th Leading Cause of Death

Statement of Terri Weaver
Chair of the Board of Directors
American Lung Association

Washington, DC  (January 18, 2007) – The American Lung Association commends the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for its launch of Learn More, Breathe Better.  This public awareness campaign comes at a critical time – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number of people diagnosed is on the rise.  Early diagnosis and better management can only come about when all Americans are familiar with the term COPD, what causes it, and what can be done for those who have the disease.

The American Lung Association is pleased to partner with NHLBI in promoting the Learn More, Breathe Better Campaign.  We applaud the efforts of NHLBI Director Dr. Elizabeth Nabel and the entire National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for their work to increase awareness of COPD.  Understanding is critical to improving quality of life and preventing serious disability for COPD patients.

The American Lung Association and our local affiliates across the country are committed to continuing our more than 100 years of public health service by supporting lung disease patients and their families with the very best evidence-based programs and services.  Support to patients, family members and caregivers is available through Better Breathers Clubs, a national helpline staffed by health professionals and local Lung Association education programs for COPD patients.  The Better Breathers Clubs, which help patients and their families learn about tips and techniques to better manage this disease, meet regularly in communities throughout the U.S.  The Lung Association also provides funding for COPD research to find a cure in addition to advocating for policies that can help improve quality of life issues for COPD patients.  Recently, the American Lung Association sought approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to allow patients needing oxygen to bring portable oxygen concentrators on airplane flights.

For more information about our COPD programs or to speak with a registered nurse or respiratory therapist, please call our Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNG-USA or visit our website at www.lung.org.