Living Better With Chronic Respiratory Diseases
North American Precis Syndicate
Pulmonary rehabilitation can make life better for many people with chronic respiratory diseases. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Here’s news that should help many people with chronic
respiratory diseases such as COPD breathe easier: Pulmonary rehabilitation is
a proven treatment that improves quality of life.
“People with COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases are often limited
in many daily activities,” said Carolyn L. Rochester, M.D., professor
of medicine, pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at Yale School of
Medicine and past chair of the American Thoracic Society Assembly on
Pulmonary Rehabilitation. “Some may not be able to even walk from one
side of their home to the other, prepare a meal or wash their own
Chronic lower respiratory diseases such as COPD are the third-leading
disease-related cause of death in the U.S., just behind heart disease and
cancer. Unfortunately, many people with COPD and other chronic respiratory
diseases may not know about available treatments.
According to an eye-opening survey by Wakefield Research commissioned by
the American Thoracic Society, the world’s leading medical association
dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, 62
percent of people diagnosed with a chronic respiratory disease have not heard
of pulmonary rehabilitation—a proven treatment that is usually covered
by Medicare and private insurance.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Can Help
A comprehensive six- to 12-week program, pulmonary rehabilitation includes
supervised exercise, education and support. Research shows that pulmonary rehabilitation
enhances overall quality of life, reducing symptoms and improving physical
and emotional function. However, it is significantly underused.
Explained Chris Garvey, FNP, MSN, MPA, MAACVPR of the University of
California, San Francisco Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Sleep Disorders,
“Pulmonary rehab works by strengthening the muscles to ease the burden
on the lungs. It provides a safe environment to learn how to manage
breathing, allowing patients to not only feel better, but to do more in their
lives, including many activities they may have been avoiding because of their
The survey also revealed that 40 percent of patients diagnosed with these
diseases are unaware of how deadly their condition is. Respondents ranked
stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer’s over chronic respiratory diseases as
leading causes of death. In fact, 28 percent of respondents did not rank
chronic respiratory diseases in the top three at all.
In contrast with the lack of knowledge about pulmonary rehabilitation, the
majority of patients with a chronic pulmonary disorder have heard of oxygen
therapy (70 percent) as well as medicinal interventions, including
long-acting or maintenance inhalers (61 percent), short-acting or rescue
inhalers (52 percent), and inhaled or oral steroids (52 percent) as
treatments for their disease.
Many patients, the survey discovered, who have heard of pulmonary
rehabilitation do not pursue the treatment or fail to complete the treatment.
Of the 38 percent of respondents who had heard of pulmonary rehabilitation,
only 29 percent completed the program.
The American Thoracic Society partnered with the Gawlicki Family
Foundation to create livebetter.org,
a dedicated website about pulmonary rehabilitation, which includes a
directory of programs that is continually updated based on feedback from the
pulmonary rehabilitation community.
If you or someone you know is suffering with COPD or another chronic
respiratory disease, talk with your health care provider. Visit livebetter.org for more facts about
pulmonary rehabilitation and to find a nearby program.
that should help many people with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD
breathe easier: Pulmonary rehabilitation is a proven treatment that improves
quality of life, reports the American Thoracic Society. http://bit.ly/2Snwfg0”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)