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Las Vegas, NV — (ReleaseWire) — 05/05/2022 — Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs, according to experts from Intermountain Healthcare.

"COPD is a common respiratory condition, that is preventable and treatable, in which a patient has persistent respiratory symptoms due to structural damage to the bronchial tubes, or airways, and the air sacs in the lungs," said Dr. Suresh Tawney, Pulmonary Physician, Intermountain Healthcare COPD Clinic.

More than 15 million people have COPD in the United States. But an additional 12 million people have COPD and do not know it as it is undiagnosed. The CDC reports that more than 150,000 people die every year from COPD. It is the 4th leading cause of death in the US as well as the 4th leading cause of disability. Approximately 185,000 people in Nevada are diagnosed and suffer from COPD.

Risk factors include:
– Exposure to air pollution
– Breathing secondhand smoke
– Working with chemicals, dust and fumes
– A genetic condition called Alpha-1 deficiency
– A history of childhood respiratory infection
– COPD is more common in women – about 56 percent of cases
– COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive asthma

The symptoms according to the American Lung Association:
– Chronic cough
– Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea)
– Frequent respiratory infections
– Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
– Fatigue
– Producing a lot of mucus (also called phlegm or sputum)
– Wheezing

"Roughly 80 percent of all COPD cases are attributed to smoking," said Dr. Tawney. "The remaining are environmental factors or genetically from your family."

The damage to the bronchial tubes and air sacs is usually caused by significant exposure to noxious particles, such as in smoking, or gases.

The American Lung Association provides five steps to help reduce your risk of COPD:
– If you smoke, it is a smart and healthy choice to quit. Seek help from family and experts to learn how to quit. It is never too late.
– If you don't smoke, then don't start.
– Avoid secondhand smoke around you. This includes making your home smoke-free.
– Be aware of the dangers with chemicals, dust, and fumes at home and at work.
– Work with your community to help fight for clean air.

"The Intermountain COPD Clinic focuses currently on Medicare patients. Intermountain Healthcare uses a team to treat you at the COPD Clinic," said Dr. Tawney. "The team includes the physician, case manager, respiratory therapists, among others."

The COPD Clinic team helps with the following:
– Medication management
– Educate disease process
– Signs and symptoms and how-to self-monitor and manage their chronic condition
– Provide symptom management and acute symptom triage via direct access to clinic and/or remote patient monitoring
– Work with help with self-care success
– Social determinants of health
– Transition of care coordination during and after hospitalization

To learn more about COPD, the COPD Clinic and Intermountain, visit intermountainhealthcare.org/Nevada, call (702) 691-9120, or see your primary care provider.

About Intermountain
Based in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a health plans division with more than one million members called SelectHealth, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare.

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