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Lynn Markwell knows all too well how pulmonary rehabilitation — a multidisciplinary program combining exercise, nutrition, education, and support — can improve the quality of life for people with respiratory conditions.
Sixteen million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Millions more have it but have not been diagnosed. Chronic respiratory diseases, primarily COPD, are the country’s fourth-leading cause of death – and third-leading among chronic diseases, just behind heart disease and cancer.
For patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), pulmonary rehabilitation can significantly improve well-being. But according to a recent study, few people living with COPD are getting the benefits of multifaceted rehab programs that combine exercise training, nutritional counseling, education, and support.
Sixty-two percent of people diagnosed with chronic pulmonary disorders have never heard of pulmonary rehabilitation – an effective non-pharmacological treatment option covered by Medicare and private insurance – according to a survey released by the American Thoracic Society, or ATS.
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