Initiative hopes to bring awareness to COPD

Published 11/16 2016 05:18PM

Updated 11/16 2016 05:48PM

ERIE, Pa. -- Today is World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day, an initiative to bring awareness to risk factors and treatments for the lung disease. 

Chronic lower respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and most of those are caused by COPD.

About 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Possible symptoms include chronic cough, wheezing and shortness of breath, however, many people don't exhibit symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of those living with the disease could be more than double.

While there are treatments to manage and control the progression of COPD, there is no cure.

Members of the medical community said it's important to know the risk factors.

To learn more about nicotine and smoking cessation programs offered by UPMC Hamot, contact respiratory therapist and tobacco treatment specialist Mary Grotkowski at 814-877-2981.   

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