1. True or False: It’s easy for patients to recognize the symptoms of COPD.
2. True or False: More than 12 million American adults have COPD.
3. True or False: Genetics are the top reason people develop COPD.
4. True or False: COPD is common in younger people.
5. True or False: People with COPD should get flu and pneumococcal vaccines.
1. False: Unfortunately, most patients assume the symptoms of COPD are just the signs of aging. If you feel like you have less energy, you struggle to catch your breath after simple activities, you have a chronic cough, or you’re producing more sputum than you used to, you should see your doctor about being checked for COPD.
2. True: And many of them are undiagnosed, which helps explain why 120,000 people die from the disease each year. Early diagnosis is crucial in preserving lung function.
3. False: Smoking is the number one cause of COPD, and quitting is an excellent way to reduce your risk. About 85 to 90 percent of COPD deaths are attributable to smoking. Genetics cause about 1 percent of COPD cases.
4. False: COPD is most commonly diagnosed in people over 45; according to the CDC, 11 percent of men and 10 percent of women between the ages of 75 and 84 have COPD.
5. True: Compromised breathing means that any respiratory infection can quickly turn deadly. That’s why doctors stress that COPD sufferers should be up to date on their flu and pneumococcal vaccines.
Learn more about Pulmonary Rehabilitation services offered at Northern Westchester Hospital.