CHICAGO, IL | November 8, 2023
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a life-long chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. During COPD Awareness Month in November, the American Lung Association launched the new “COPD for Life” campaign, with support from Sanofi and Regeneron, to help people who have been living with the disease for ten or more years live better, more active and enjoyable lives.
COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a long-term lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Despite being treatable and often preventable, COPD is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. More than 12.5 million people in the U.S. live with COPD, and another 18 million are potentially living with undiagnosed COPD. Women, people of lower socioeconomic status, and those living in rural areas have a greater likelihood of developing COPD and poor disease-related outcomes.
“Fortunately, we have seen a significant amount of progress in COPD care and treatment over the last decade,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Because their original diagnosis was so long ago, people living with COPD for 10 or more years may have a lack of understanding of recent treatment options, updated treatment guidelines, and the awareness to recognize new or worsening symptoms and report them back to their healthcare provider. The goal of this program is to help people who have this disease reduce their exacerbations and hospitalizations, and to live overall more active lives.”
“We know that COPD is a life-threatening and progressive disease, and we’re committed to advancing research to more fully understand the inflammatory pathways underlying this disease. But we also know that patients are suffering now, and with that in mind we’re proud to support the ‘COPD for Life’ campaign which provides people living with COPD and their families with practical resources that are available now, including education and support services,” Andrew Vieira, M.D., US Medical Head, Immunology at Sanofi.
“As a company dedicated to improving the lives of people with serious diseases, we are honored to support educating and motivating patients to be proactive and vigilant about their COPD care,” Yamo Deniz, M.D., FAAAAI. Vice President & Head, Immunology & Inflammation Global Medical Franchise at Regeneron.
As a part of this campaign, the Lung Association conducted a comprehensive review of literature to examine how to best help people living with COPD. This review found that patient education can improve COPD self-management, provide skills for coping with anxiety and other mental health challenges, and improve overall health status, especially as measured by quality of life and increased ability to participate in everyday activities. In addition, research shows that education and support for people living with COPD can be instrumental in decreasing exacerbations and hospital admissions. Research also shows that it is critical to develop resources that are easy for everyone to understand.
The Lung Association’s new “COPD for Life” campaign will provide critical resources to help people who have been living with the disease for 10 or more years live a more active and enjoyable life. Through the campaign:
- The Lung Association will educate people on the latest COPD guidelines, empower them to have conversations with their healthcare provider about their symptoms, and learn about new treatment and management options available.
- The Lung Association will provide resources that are more accessible to those carrying the highest burden of COPD.
- The Lung HelpLine, accessible online or by calling 1-800-LungUSA, is adding a new position, a COPD patient navigator, who can provide education to callers.
Learn more at Lung.org/COPD.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
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