The prevention of lung disease and the promotion of lung health is the goal of the National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP) conducted in collaboration with government, medical and other health professional organizations.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth major cause of death in the United States. NLHEP was established to develop and promote a nationwide program designed to identify COPD earlier- long before it causes disability.
An objective has been to create a program of intervention to stop the progress of COPD before the development of clinical symptoms – chronic cough, wheeze, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath – early signs of risk leading to disabling forms of this chronic lung disease.
Spirometry can be used to identify COPD and those at risk of death from lung cancer, heart attack and stroke. Indeed, preservation of lung health is the key to good health in general.
The Patients Who Will Benefit
Over 130,000 men and women die of COPD annually in the United States alone, making this the fourth leading cause of mortality and the second leading cause of disability in the US. It is one of the most rapidly growing lethal problems faced by our population. In 2000, for the first time, more women than men died of COPD.
COPD costs the United States more than 50 billion dollars per year in direct and indirect medical costs, which include: hospitalization, urgent care visits, and unscheduled physician office visits. These costs continue to escalate as the number of cases continue to dramatically increase.