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Why we need to act now.

“Whether you have COPD, treat COPD or know someone affected by the condition, you can make a difference. But we need to act now.”
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Why we need to act now.

COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a progressive lung disease.

Around the world there are already 210 million people1WHO. Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases. Chronic Respiratory Diseases. living with the condition and by 2030 the World Health Organization predict that COPD will be the third leading cause of death2WHO. Chronic respiratory diseases, Burden of COPD., eclipsed only by heart disease and stroke. Yet very few people are even aware of the condition.3Mapel DW, et al. Int J COPD 2011; 6: 573–81

In fact, by the time most people know they have COPD, they will have already lost about 50% of their lung function3Mapel DW, et al. Int J COPD 2011; 6: 573–814Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD. 2015.. Imagine, slowly losing your ability to do the things you once took for granted. Things like keeping up with your grandchildren in the park or taking the dog out for a long walk. These simple, every day things can be out of reach for someone living with COPD, even from early on in the disease.

“Whether you have COPD, treat COPD or know someone affected by the condition, you can make a difference. But we need to act now.”

By doing as much as possible to tackle COPD, as early as possible – be it taking those extra steps to keep active, talking to your doctor about what more can be done or simply helping raise awareness – we may be able to slow the progress of the disease, improve the lives of millions of people living with COPD and help prevent the 2030 prediction becoming a reality.

Together, we can act now and challenge COPD.

How to challenge the disease.

“By diagnosing and optimally managing COPD earlier it's still possible to make a real difference to patients' lives”
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Manage

As COPD can’t be cured, the key goals of management are to limit symptoms, prevent ‘flare-ups’, help patients’ keep as active as possible and overall, improve their quality of life. When a person with COPD is not managed well from the very beginning, their condition can deteriorate rapidly and have an increasing impact on their quality of life.5Reardon JZ, Lareau SC, ZuWallack R. Am J Med 2006; 119(10 Suppl 1): 32-7

“Optimal management, as soon as you know it’s COPD, can improve health and wellbeing and reduce the progress of the disease.”6Welte T, Vogelmeier C, Papi A. Int J Clin Pract 2015; 3: 336–349

This includes taking important steps to quit smoking as well as appropriate drug and non-drug treatment, to give patients the best chance of keeping active and maintaining a full life for as long as possible.

Identify

Most patients don’t know they have COPD until the disease has progressed to a moderate/severe stage.3Mapel DW, et al. Int J COPD 2011; 6: 573–81

“It’s important to identify COPD earlier to give people living with this condition the best possible life for the future.”5Reardon JZ, Lareau SC, ZuWallack R. Am J Med 2006; 119(10 Suppl 1): 32-77Csikesz NG and Gartman EJ. Int J COPD 2014; 9: 277–286

This means raising awareness of the common risk factors and symptoms whilst diagnosing effectively to get to patients when optimal management can make the most difference.

Know and act on the common signs and symptoms of COPD:4Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD. 2015.

  • An ongoing cough or a cough that produces a lot of mucus
  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activity
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

Prevent

“COPD can be prevented.”

Knowing the causes and preventing exposure to them is one of the most important steps we can take to improve COPD for the future. It is well known that long-term smoking is the leading cause of COPD, however there are other factors that we need to consider including indoor and outdoor air pollution if we are going to tackle the challenge of prevention.

Spread the word about the risk factors for COPD to help prevent people getting the disease in the future.