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Friday, March 2, 2012

COPD: The 3rd Leading Cause of Death

English: A chest X-ray demonstrating severe CO...Image via Wikipedia

A large number of disabled workers suffer from Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD). This compensable workers' compensation condition has now been recognized as the third leading cause of death in the US.

See Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Associated Health-Care Resource Use — North Carolina, 2007 and 2009 MMWR 61(08)

"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is a progressive condition in which airflow becomes limited, making it difficult to breathe. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, primarily COPD, are the third leading cause of death in the United States (1), and 5.1% of U.S. adults report a diagnosis of emphysema or chronic bronchitis (2). Smoking is the primary cause of COPD, and at least 75% of COPD deaths are attributable to smoking in the United States (3). Information on state-specific prevalence of COPD is sparse (4), as are data on the use of COPD-related health-care resources. To understand how COPD affects adults in North Carolina and what resources are used by persons with COPD, 2007 and 2009 data from the North Carolina COPD module of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were analyzed. Among 26,227 respondents, 5.7% reported ever having been told by a health professional that they had COPD. Most adults with COPD reported ever having had a diagnostic breathing test (76.4% in 2007 and 82.4% in 2009). Among adults with COPD, 43.0% reported having gone to a physician and 14.9% visited an emergency department (ED) or were admitted to a hospital (2007) for COPD-related symptoms in the previous 12 months. Only 48.1% of persons reported daily use of medications for their COPD (2007). These results indicate that many adults with COPD might not have had adequate diagnostic spirometry, and many who might benefit from daily medications, such as long-acting bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, are not taking them. Continued and expanded surveillance is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs and support efforts to educate the public and physicians about COPD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment."

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.