The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is working with federal and nonfederal organizations to share its latest initiative in fighting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Congress requested the plan as the NHLBI aims to help educate patients and collaborate with experts, educators and federal agencies, according to a press release.
“This plan represents a new understanding of what it takes, at every level, to minimize the burden of COPD,” Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of NHLBI, said in the release. “Through thoughtful collaboration with federal agencies, patients, advocates, and researchers, we will help the millions who continue to endure this debilitating disease.”
NHLBI has already taken steps by hosting workshops early last year and a COPD Town Hall at the national level. Patients and their families were able to hear from health care providers and others in the field to learn more about COPD.
“The enthusiasm of members from the COPD community in sharing its insights has been invaluable throughout this process,” James P. Kiley, director of NHLBI’s Division of Lung Diseases, said in the release. “The different perspectives brought by those who live these issues every day contributed to making this a clear, coordinated way forward for all stakeholders. We look forward to working together to improve the lives of those living with COPD.”
COPD has been labeled as the third-leading cause of death in the nation, according to the release. NHLBI and its partners have announced its initial COPD National Action Plan to raise awareness about the condition that affects 16 million Americans who have received an official diagnosis and others who have not. COPD prevents patients from breathing properly and could potentially end in disability and impact the general quality of life.
A cure for COPD has not been found, but the NHLBI has featured ways to treat and prevent it as it helps families and caregivers come to terms with the diagnoses, as well as researching it at extensive levels.