Chance of COPD increases as people age

Published On: Mar 05 2012 02:29:46 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 20 2012 11:20:40 AM EDT

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(NewsUSA) - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, otherwise known as COPD, is now the third leading cause of death globally -- one out of every four men and one of every six women who live to be 95 years old will develop COPD.

COPD describes many conditions that obstruct airflow in and out of the lungs. Research shows that patients with COPD are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. In fact, according to findings reported in the October 2008 issue of the European Respiratory Journal, more than half of the patients who have COPD will also develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension.

In the U.S., doctors have diagnosed COPD in more than 32 million patients. Most of those patients require oxygen therapy. But oxygen therapy machines can be difficult for patients to operate. Some companies are developing devices to make oxygen therapy easier and more effective.

Dr. Rozenbaum, a leading scientist and the Board Member of several recognized national COPD organizations and founder of COPD Alert, calls the device a "great idea." "This very small and simple-to-operate, yet very accurate gauging device provides a high measure of security to patients, who can quickly be alerted to malfunctioning equipment and take the necessary steps to correct the situation or immediately contact their oxygen provider."

As medical technologies advance and extend the average lifespan, more patients will develop COPD. According to an analysis from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans born in 2004 will reach an average lifespan of 77.9 years, with women living longer than men. Currently, COPD is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

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