Why don’t people with COPD get all the treatment they need?

Posted Dec 13, 2018

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.

Even more shocking is that few patients use pulmonary rehabilitation, a treatment proven to reduce symptoms and enhance their quality of life. In fact, a recent study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society showed that only 1.9 percent of patients hospitalized for COPD received pulmonary rehabilitation within six months of being discharged.

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