COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States with diagnoses increasing 16 percent each year. It is estimated that 24 million people in the United States live with COPD, and nearly 12 million of them remain undiagnosed. COPD accounts for one death every four minutes, which is more than breast cancer and diabetes combined. We have a lot of work to do to educate our communities and the general publicto be successful we must urge our representatives to make this issue a priority!
So far, sixteen states have formally recognized November as COPD Awareness Month. This is a great accomplishment but if your state has not passed the Resolution, consider helping by sending your state legislator a letter such as the one below:
I am writing to request that you sign and issue a proclamation recognizing November as COPD Awareness Month. As someone personally impacted by COPD, this is an issue that is extremely important to me and I urge you to show your support.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in America and accounts for more than half of all deaths from lung disease. The number of Americans affected by COPD is growing and the problem is getting worse. In fact, it is the only leading cause of death on the rise.
Approximately 24 million Americans have COPD, but half of them don't even know it. While tobacco exposure is the major risk factor for COPD, environmental and occupational exposures and genetic factors also cause COPD. COPD is a major cause of disability and a large cost burden on our state's economy that could be mitigated with early diagnosis and proper education.
By issuing the proclamation, you can help show that you recognize the seriousness of COPD in your state. You will also be helping to spread awareness about the disease to the missing millions in America for whom early diagnosis can mean better quality of life.
Want to show your support in November and throughout the year? Here are a few ways you can be involved: