What to do about COPD
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – is caused largely by smoking, and is America’s fourth leading cause of death. COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, slowly gets worse. But it can be treated. And doctors in the American College of Physicians have developed new guidelines for doing that.
The guidelines call for testing patients by using spirometry, in which a person breathes into a machine. Doctors might prescribe drugs or additional oxygen. Dr. Steven Weinberger, who’s senior vice president, adds there’s something patients can do, too:
``The most important thing that anyone with COPD can do is to stop smoking.’’ (4 seconds)
The guidelines, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, were based in part on research supported by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011