COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease, cancer, and stroke. By 2020, it is predicted to rank as the third leading cause of death. Approximately 100,000 men and women die from the disease annually in the U.S., a death rate representing a 22 percent increase over the past decade. The highest rate of increase in deaths has been seen in white women.
One of the experts, Dr. Lenfant, whose Institute, NHLBI, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), sponsored the GOLD Global Initiative Report, hailed the recent release of the international guidelines as a way for local medical societies in more than 100 countries throughout the world to help clinicians identify the disease and manage the condition.
Dr. Pauwels, Chair of the Workshop that produced the COPD Report, said: "COPD has received significantly inadequate attention from healthcare professionals and governments, in comparison to its impact on the world's population. In order to receive the increasing prevalence, a unified international effort is required. GOLD involves a committed team of COPD experts and medical associations from more than 100 countries and its members will personally act to bring about the needed changes in their home countries."
For the ATS, Dr. Celli is heading a committee to revise the Society's medical guidelines for physicians. His group will also establish a site on the worldwide web where patients can get the latest information about the disease. The new ATS guidelines are expected to be published within 18 months; at the same time, the patient website is expected to be up and running.
Contact: Jim Augustine
American Thoracic Society