The Definitive Guide to National COPD Awareness Month

November 1st marks the beginning of National COPD Awareness Month, and even though chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rates have been steadily rising, general awareness of COPD remains low. COPD Awareness Month is the national answer to increase public awareness of the costs and health risks of COPD, and to highlight COPD prevention tips.

In this blog post, we will explore what COPD is, how to prevent COPD, and helpful resources to get more information on COPD awareness month.


What is COPD?
COPD is a cluster of several diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. It is a progressive disease, so once symptoms start to settle in, the condition usually gets progressively worse unless medical intervention occurs.

COPD Statistics
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 251 million cases of COPD globally in 2016. When considering total deaths, 5% of all global deaths were attributed to COPD. And more than 90% of COPD deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.
In the U.S. alone, 16 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but another 12 million people are still undiagnosed. From these statistics, we can infer that COPD is a serious global health issue affecting mostly low-middle income regions, with large groups of people who aren’t even aware that they have COPD. We could speculate that more educational resources (such as those found in higher income regions) would help curb these rates in lower-income areas. There is likely an opportunity to stop or even reverse course on COPD rates with increased awareness. Moreover, getting people diagnosed is another way to help initiate early treatment in patients who are already experiencing symptoms.

All in all, more awareness is warranted.

Leave a comment