COPD by the numbers

COPD affects over 24 million Americans and our community stretches across all 50 states. 2013 marks the first year ever that researchers were able to see the COPD prevalence rate for all 50 states thanks to the new data put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BEHAVIOR RISK SURVEILLANCE SURVEY (BRFSS), which is the nation’s largest telephone health survey.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind cancer and heart disease. 
In 2009, 133,965 people died of COPD of which more than half (52.3%) were in women.
Nearly 80% of COPD deaths are in non-Hispanic whites; Hispanics had the least number of deaths with 3,714.1

Who should get tested for COPD?

If you have any of these SYMPTOMS, you are at risk for developing COPD.

Anyone with the following should get tested:

  • Has a history of smoking
  • Has long-term exposure to air pollutants (including pollution and second-hand smoke)1
  • Has chronic coughing with or without sputum
  • Has wheezing
  • Has shortness of breath that has become worse over time
  • Cannot keep up with people of your own age


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"Diabetes" or "Asthma", for example.