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Temple-led study finds no benefit in taking statin drugs for COPD exacerbation prevention
Date:5/18/2014

COPD Exacerbations)

COPD Facts

What is it?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing problems. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and in some cases asthma.

What causes COPD?

Tobacco smoke is a key cause of the development and progression of COPD in the U.S. Exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also factor in. In the developing world, indoor air pollution is thought to play a larger role in COPD.

How common is it?

  • Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., causing approximately 135,000 deaths annually.
  • An estimated 12.7 million Americans have COPD, though close to 24 million U.S. adults have impaired lung function, which indicates an underdiagnosis of COPD.

Who's at most risk?

  • People aged 65-74 years.
  • Current or former smokers.
  • Patients with a history of asthma.
  • Non-Hispanic whites.
  • Women.
  • Individuals who are unemployed, retired or unable to work.
  • Individuals with less than a high school education.
  • People with lower incomes.

How is COPD treated?

Patients should undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a physician. Treatment can alleviate symptoms, decrease the frequency and severity of exacerbations, and increase the patient's ability to exercise. Treatment strategies include:

  • Smoking cessation.
  • Avoiding tobacco smoke and removing other air pollutants from the patient's home or workplace.
  • Using medications to treat symptoms such as coughing or wheezing.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs to teach patients breathing strategies and energy-conserving techniques.
  • Annual flu shots.
  • Antibiotics to treat respiratory infections when appropriate.
  • Supplemental oxygen for patients who have low blood oxygen lev
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Contact: Jeremy Walter
Jeremy.Walter@tuhs.temple.edu
215-707-7882
Temple University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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