By diagnosing and optimally managing the disease earlier it’s still possible to make a real difference to patients’ lives. Despite the disease affecting 210 million people worldwide5 and being responsible for twice as many deaths as diabetes,6 it is little known or talked about.
By the time most people know they have COPD, they will have already lost around 50% of their lung function2,3 – and urgent, optimal management is necessary. Identifying and optimally managing COPD in the early stages has the potential to slow the progression of the disease4 and may give patients the best opportunity of living a better life for longer. The Your Time campaign echoes the context of this year’s World COPD Day (18 November 2015), organised by GOLD* around the theme “It’s Not Too Late”.7
“COPD has significant physical and emotional impacts on patients. Both patients and healthcare professionals need to be alert to the early signs of COPD, when much of the damage to a patient’s lungs occurs. When COPD is first suspected, I would like to see the same sense of urgency as we give to the first signs of cancer,” said Dr. Richard Russell, consultant respiratory physician, Lymington New Forest Hospital, Hampshire and Senior Clinical Researcher, University of Oxford.
“Increasing awareness of the condition, and the need to tackle it early, is both urgent and important. Effective, early management could mean that people with COPD are more able to maintain a normal active life – such as walking upstairs without stopping, going out to socialise with family and friends or finding it easier to continue doing the things that they enjoy,” Dr Russell continued.
COPD is not only a personal challenge but also a growing challenge for public health. It is the only major cause of death where incidence is increasing and the World Health Organization (WHO) predict that by 2030 COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide1 – exceeded only by heart diseases and stroke. In Europe, the annual costs of healthcare and lost productivity due to COPD are estimated as €48.4 billion euros.8
Find out more about the Your Time campaign at www.yourtimeCOPD.com
Making Twitter #COUGH
As part of a drive to raise awareness of COPD and the importance of identifying and diagnosing the disease early, on World COPD Day 2015 BoehringerIngelheim is aiming to make Twitter #COUGH. As the world #COUGHs the hashtag will produce a noisy spike in Tweets, simulating the sound wave of a COPD sufferer’s chronic cough – a key symptom of the disease.
Look out for and share Tweets with #COUGH this World COPD Day, 18 November to raise awareness and encourage people to act now on COPD.