November is COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Awareness Month, the third leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Lung Association, affecting approximately 6.8% of Louisiana residents – more than the national average, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Louisiana ranks sixth worst state for the prevalence of the diagnosis of COPD among people over the age of 18 US news and world report. In 2017, 16.4% of Louisiana smokers had COPD, while 11.2% of former smokers and 3.5% of people who had never smoked had respiratory problems. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, people with COPD can improve their quality of life and breathe better.
Although more than 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, researchers believe that more than 12 million people in the United States are currently living with undiagnosed COPD
COPD is a progressive lung disease that affects millions across the country. People with COPD often have chronic bronchitis (when the airways of the lungs are inflamed and filled with mucus) and emphysema (when the air sacs in the lungs are damaged and the lungs are not working as they should). The disease is not contagious.
âCOPD is a serious, chronic disease that many don’t know they have. We hope that COPD Awareness Month will help raise awareness of its symptoms and help with early detection, âsaid Casey Hoyt, CEO of VieMed, a publicly traded national health company based in Lafayette, La. âOne of our goals is to capitalize on the clinically proven benefits of non-invasive home ventilation for patients diagnosed with advanced COPD – to give them the treatment they need to not only improve their lives, but extend them. “
With the right treatment, COPD is easily treatable. The main treatment method is smoking cessation. Once a person quits smoking, COPD stops getting worse. Symptoms can be greatly alleviated and people with COPD enjoy an improved quality of life. COPD usually affects people aged 45 and over, with more female deaths than male deaths. Symptoms of COPD include:
- Chronic cough (sometimes called a smoker’s cough)
- shortness of breath
- Excessive mucus
- Chest tightness
âThere is no cure for COPD, but with early diagnosis and treatment, people can feel better, stay active, and slow their progression. We urge those with symptoms to speak to their doctor about COPD and the benefits of NIVH therapy, âsaid William Frazier, MD, VieMed’s chief medical officer.
In 2018, 16.4 million adults in the United States reported a diagnosis of COPD that includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. This equates to 6.6% of adults, with the highest rates of illness occurring in those over 65, according to the American Lung Association. Symptoms of COPD are sometimes confused with aging. However, shortness of breath is not a typical sign of age. According to the National Institutes of Health, between 70 and 75% of COPD patients have been or are smokers, but up to 30% are and have never been smokers.
Treating COPD costs the healthcare system millions of dollars annually as patients spend more time in the hospital on various treatments as the disease progresses. Overall, the cost of COPD in the US skyrocketed from $ 32.1 billion in 2010 to an estimated $ 49 billion in 2020 – an increase of 52.6% according to the CDC. New groundbreaking clinical research ** shows that non-invasive home ventilation therapy (NIVH), as offered by VieMed, improves quality of life and reduces death rates, hospital stays and emergency rooms. Frazier pioneered this therapy in the United States, where only five percent of COPD-eligible patients are currently using NIVH, compared to Europe and other parts of the world where it is more common.
“As the national leader in the treatment of respiratory diseases, we hope this month in particular to increase awareness and education of our local community about the symptoms of COPD and the latest clinical data to support NIVH treatment,” said Hoyt.
* “Non-invasive ventilation at home reduces mortality in COPD with CRF “, The American Journal of Managed Care, Sept. 15, 2021 and “Non-Invasive Home Ventilation Improves Survival and Reduces Healthcare Utilization for Medicare Beneficiaries with COPD-CRF”, Respiratory journal, December 29, 2020.
A free public webinar will be hosted by Dr. Frazier hosted on December 9th at 11 a.m. CT on the latest research supporting the benefits of NIVH for COPD patients. to register here. VieMed is a provider of home medical equipment and post-acute respiratory health services in the United States. VieMed’s range of services focuses on effective home treatment, with clinical doctors treating and advising patients at home using state-of-the-art technology. visit www.viemed.com.