1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Deborah Leader, RN

COPD Now the 3rd Leading Cause of Death in US

By December 11, 2010

Follow me on:

Until recently, COPD was ranked the fourth leading cause of death in this country and  was expected to move up to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020. This all changed  last Thursday when the CDC released a report claiming that the disease has moved up 12 years early, and, as of 2008, is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Why did this happen?

There is some speculation that the increase in mortality rates for COPD is due to a change in the way that COPD was classified in 2008. Before this, deaths resulting from pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory infections were coded as COPD/unspecified. Now, these types of deaths are all coded under a single classification -- chronic lower respiratory diseases, or CLRD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and bronchiectasis. In 2008, deaths from CLRD increased by 7.8 percent while deaths from stroke fell 3.8 percent.

While this is certainly not good news, according to the COPD Foundation, COPD is almost always preventable and almost always treatable and people who are high risk for the disease are strongly encouraged to get tested with a simple lung test called spirometry. As a result of this test, those who are experiencing symptoms of COPD can get diagnosed early and start COPD treatment before the disease becomes disabling.

To read more about this topic, visit the COPD Foundation press release.

Comments
December 12, 2010 at 1:11 am
(1) charles mctaggar says:

I have had bronchiectasis for 40 years,There has been little progress in treatment,the same old stuff,inhalers and antibiotics. The research on this disease is almost none existant,some doctors know little about it. It is about time we give this disease more publicity,and get it out there in the public eye,then the government might help fund research on it. Stem cell research holds the most promise in my opinion,but I am only a layman. All I know there are millions of people out there whos lives have been shattered by this disease,and they need some real answers.

August 1, 2012 at 6:39 am
(2) Wheezing Bob says:

I have only had my lung infection for 25 years but like Charles. I am astonished at the lack of research on what I find variably called (in my case), sometimes COPD, sometimes a lung infection and sometimes nothing. Like Charles, I have been given the same old stuff, inhalers and antibiotics. There is negligible research being done. I am now in the worrying position that a wide range of antibiotics has stopped working. Indeed, I am told I may be nearing the end of what is available. I see life being intolerable without these antibiotics.
Deborah tells us that since 2008, COPD has become the fourth largest cause of death in the world, a magnitude it was not expected to reach till 2020! And, the major drop in smoking in so many places was expected to reduce COPD! Should someone somewhere not be concerned.
Perhas we could be discussing partial surgery or even complete removal of an infected lung. I had a childhood friend who was shot when a teenager and had to have one lung removed. He lived till a ripe old age.
I see the University of Colorado has set up a “Center for the Surgical Treatment of Lung Infections”.
Perhaps someone should check it out.

August 1, 2012 at 6:54 am
(3) Wheezing Bob says:

I have only had my lung infection for 25 years but like Charles, I am astonished at the lack of research on what I find variably called (in my case), sometimes COPD, sometimes a lung infection and sometimes nothing. Like Charles, I have been given the same old stuff, inhalers and antibiotics. I am now in the worrying position that a wide range of antibiotics has stopped working for me. Indeed, I am told I may be nearing the end of what is available. I see life being impossible without them.
Deborah tells us that since 2008, COPD has become the fourth largest cause of death in the world, a magnitude it was not expected to reach till 2020! And, the major drop in smoking in so many places was expected to reduce COPD! SHOULD SOMEONE SOMEWHERE NOT BE CONCERNED..
Perhaps we should be discussing partial lung surgery or even complete removal of infected lungs. I had a childhood friend who was shot when a teenager and had to have one lung removed. He lived till a ripe old age.
I see the University of Colorado has set up a “Center for the Surgical Treatment of Lung Infections”. Perhaps someone should check it out at the URL above.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.