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American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Joins DRIVE4COPD to Raise Awareness of Nation's 4th Leading Cause of Death
Date:9/8/2010

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The country's newest health initiative, DRIVE4COPD, announced today that it has added the largest association of respiratory therapists - The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) - to its ranks.  The AARC joins DRIVE4COPD, the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR®, and fellow partnering organizations the American Lung Association, COPD Foundation and founding sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a combined effort to increase awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The AARC's 50,000 member respiratory therapists, located in all 50 states, will join in DRIVE4COPD's nationwide search for the millions of people who may be at risk for COPD and don't know it. Currently, half of the estimated 24 million Americans who may have COPD remain undiagnosed. Most people are not diagnosed until they have lost half their lung function.

"We are often in contact with patients who are aware of how they are feeling but don't realize that they are showing symptoms of a progressive disease that can rob them of their ability to breathe," said AARC President and registered respiratory therapist Timothy Myers. "Joining the DRIVE4COPD campaign is a natural extension of our work as respiratory therapists. We strive to encourage, support and guide patients as they take steps to protect their lung function."

Since launching in February 2010, the DRIVE4COPD campaign has screened more than 200,000 people for their risk for COPD through a brief, five-question screener available on DRIVE4COPD.COM.   If the screener indicates they may be at risk for COPD, the results should be printed and brought to their health care provider to discuss.

"Taking the screener is a great first step to find out if you might be at risk," said Go Daddy and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ driver Danica Patrick, whose grandmother had COPD. "With
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SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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