This May, members of the American Lung Association Research Team attended the American Thoracic Society's (ATS) 2017 Conference in Washington, D.C. Through thematic poster sessions, mini symposiums and poster discussions, Lung Association-funded researchers demonstrated great strides in medical research in respiratory diseases, like asthma and COPD.

In addition to the Lung Association funded research presentations, during the conference, Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association was excited to help announcee first-ever COPD National Action Plan, launched by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). We're proud to be a lead partner of the COPD National Action Plan and look forward to the great work with the NHLBI and other partners of the COPD community.



What's the COPD National Action Plan?

The COPD National Action Plan is the result of more than a year-long collaboration among representatives from across the entire COPD community, working together to create a plan to drive change and support activities that help reduce the burden of COPD.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Around 11.4 million Americans are living with COPD; however, it's likely under diagnosed, as more than 18 million had evidence of imperfect lung function between 2007 and 2010.

The COPD National Action Plan will reduce the burden of COPD through five key goals:

  • Empower people with COPD, their families and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD.
  • Improve the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of COPD by improving the quality of care delivered across the health care continuum.
  • Collect, analyze, report and disseminate COPD-related public health data that drive change and track progress.
  • Increase and sustain research to better understand the prevention, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and management of COPD.
  • Translate national policy, educational and program recommendations into research and public health care actions.

With the support of the nationwide COPD community, the COPD National Action Plan will serve as the blueprint for the fight against COPD.

The Lung Association will continue to support those affected by COPD with a variety of resources and information about the disease. If you are living with COPD get tips and tools to help disease management. Creating a management plan (also available in Spanish) and tracking your medications will equip you with the power to take control of your health. We also encourage you to find support. Our Better Breathers Clubs are in-person support groups where members of the COPD community come together to share tips, tools and the latest in COPD management. The online Living with COPD support community offers the same in a digital format for people living with COPD and caregivers. Also, the Airways Clinical Research Centers will continue its clinical research dedicated to finding improved treatment for COPD patients. Lastly, those living with COPD are invited to join the COPD Patient-Powered Research Network, an online registry for COPD patients to report details around their illness that will aid investigators in medical research.

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