Over 16 million people in the US have COPD1 and up to 60% of COPD cases go undiagnosed. According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death globally. COPD continues to be a leading cause of disabling symptoms and suffering. Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is the standard of care for persons with COPD and is associated with improved physical function, symptoms, mood and quality of life. Although PR is well established as a highly effective treatment for COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases,4,5 in the United States only 3–4% of Medicare beneficiaries with COPD receive PR.6 Similarly low estimates exist for the rest of the world.
A recent study by Peter Lindenauer and colleagues found that, in persons hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of COPD, PR within 3 months of discharge vs. later or no PR, was associated with a highly significant lower risk of mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio, 0.63; i.e., a 37% lower risk of death over the year following discharge).8 The study utilized claims data of 197,376 Medicare beneficiaries discharged after hospitalization for COPD.8 The findings support PR as a high priority following hospitalization for COPD.
Patients suffering from COPD should know that PR not only has potential for helping them feel better and being more independent, but also to live longer. We are asking for your support in communicating these important findings of improved survival after PR to providers and patients. Thank you in advance for your help and collaboration.
Click here to view the Alpha-1 Foundation’s webinar on Pulmonary Rehab: Excercises You Can Do At Home.
Thank you in advance for your help and collaboration:
Allergy & Asthma Network
Alpha 1 Foundation
American Association for Cardiovascular Pulmonary Rehabilitation
American Association for Respiratory Care American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American Lung Association
American Thoracic Society
CHEST/American College of Chest Physicians
Lung Transplant Foundation
Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Respiratory Compromise Institute
Respiratory Health Association
US COPD Coalition