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Health and Family Services Cabinet
November is COPD Awareness Month

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 10, 2009  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3325 and 4012  

Promotional Materials Available Online

As part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is promoting the COPD Learn More Breathe Better Campaign, an effort from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Free promotional materials, including print and radio advertisements, are available for download at

COPD refers to two lung diseases: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both conditions cause breathing obstruction and frequently occur at the same time, thus are categorized as COPD. The Learn More Breathe Better campaign seeks to heighten awareness and knowledge of COPD and, ultimately, reduce its prevalence across the country. 

“COPD is a serious health concern that affects numerous Kentuckians and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States,” said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “Sadly, many aren’t aware of this disorder – even some who are suffering from it. If you believe you are at risk or have COPD, talk to your health care provider to learn more about the disease and treatment options.”

Learn More Breathe Better targets men and women older than 45, especially those who smoke or have smoked, and those with risk associated with genetics or environmental exposures. In addition, the campaign aims to reach people who have been diagnosed with COPD as well as health care providers, particularly those in the primary care setting.

Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 25 states have initiated COPD education programs or convened coalitions in support of developing plans of action.

The campaign targets the needs of the public, including those at risk for COPD, people with COPD who are undiagnosed, and those already diagnosed with the disease. The campaign also focuses on reaching health care professionals, specifically primary care providers, to increase early detection, proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

“Learn More Breathe Better is a wonderful campaign and I hope all communities will take advantage of these educational materials,” said Kelly Nunn of the Kentucky Respiratory Disease Program in DPH. “Sadly, many are at an increased risk or already suffer from the condition and don’t know it. DPH, along with the NHLBI, are working to start reversing these trends.”

To learn more about COPD, visit the DPH Respiratory Disease Program Web site at or call (502) 564-7996.




Last Updated 11/10/2009