March 09, 2005

Crapo Works To Increase Awareness Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Senate resolution outlines concerns with COPD, 4th leading cause of death

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo joined with his Senate colleagues in passing a resolution to bring attention to the growing concerns with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The resolution, S. Res. 229, was introduced and passed by the Senate late Tuesday and designates November 2003 as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Awareness Month. A similar resolution, H.Con.Res. 6, passed the House of Representatives in July.â??Each year, an estimated 10,000 people are diagnosed with COPD, and it accounts for 8 million office visits and more than 1.5 million emergency room visits,â?? Crapo said. â??While this resolution wonâ??t cure anyone of the disease, it will provide people with a reminder that they need to pay attention to this ailment. COPD is a progressive disease that costs us more than $32 billion in medical treatment and lost work hours. Those with COPD say the condition affects every aspect of their lives, and limits their ability to work, sleep and participate in social and physical activities. We need to take every measure to make the public aware of the serious problems associated with it. COPD causes impaired lung functions with symptoms that include chronic coughing, shortness of breath, increased effort to breathe, increased mucus production, and frequent clearing of the throat. Those most at risk include long-term smokers and family members of those individuals, those with a family history of COPD, exposure to air pollution, and a history of frequent childhood respiratory infections. I would encourage people who have these symptoms or are at risk for COPD to visit with your family physician and take the steps to safeguard your health today.â??Crapo co-chairs the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, and has become an activist in health awareness issues since he was diagnosed and successfully treated for prostate cancer in January 2000. He has sponsored the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booths at four regional fairs in Idaho for the last three years; the booths provide early detection tests for prostate and breast cancer along with cholesterol and blood pressure screenings and health promotion information.# # #