Report: Iowans have COPD at a rate higher than the national average

Statewide Iowa — About five-percent of all Americans have the lung condition known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but new research shows the rate in Iowa is higher than the national average at about six-point-six percent.

Pulmonologist Dr. Bobby Mahajan, at the American Lung Association, says about 15-percent of Iowans smoke, and that’s one of the leading causes of COPD.

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a long-term lung disease that makes it hard to breathe, though some people try to ignore the symptoms.

The latest figures show about 161-thousand Iowans have been diagnosed with COPD, while about 16-hundred die from it each year. Diagnosis comes through specialized lung tests.

The American Lung Association report shows the annual cost of treating COPD in Iowa is 391-million dollars, while Iowans lose more than 235-thousand work days to the disease each year. There is no cure, but once identified, COPD patients do have several courses of action which can improve their lives.

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