English, Article edition: The Emerging Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Epidemic: Clinical Impact, Economic Burden, and Opportunities for Disease Management Rick Carter; Brian L. Tiep; Rebecca E. Tiep

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Physical Description
  • article
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • The Emerging Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Epidemic: Clinical Impact, Economic Burden, and Opportunities for Disease Management
Author
  • Rick Carter
  • Brian L. Tiep
  • Rebecca E. Tiep
Physical Description
  • article
Notes
  • The incidence and economic impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is escalating worldwide and is projected to remain on a positive trajectory for many years to come. At some point in this escalation, COPD may be regarded as a true epidemic. Unfortunately, the incidence among women is escalating more rapidly than in men, reflecting the social anthropology of changing smoking habits. This knowledge, coupled with the fact that the true disease prevalence is under-reported, suggests that we are facing a significant medical and economic crisis. The most preventable risks for COPD continue to be cigarette smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke. This is a particular problem for youth in their formative and critical growth years. Amalgamated with these alarming trends are the decline in air quality, occupational exposure to inhaled pollutants and pro-inflammatory materials, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and increasing body mass index. There is a lack of patient and family understanding regarding this chronic disease process and its co-morbid conditions. First and foremost, smoking-cessation efforts must be increased, and protection from second-hand smoke needs to be emphasized. Spirometric testing to identify populations at risk and in the early stages of disease should be implemented on a large scale and should trigger implementation of appropriate preventive steps. Disease management processes and strategies used in alliance with educational-, nutritional-, and physical exercise-related interventions may hold the key to altering behavioral patterns of patients and their families. We need to provide patients with simple and definitive interventions that can be self-initiated at the earliest possible time. This may help us to integrate best medical practices early in the disease process. Thus, we can improve bodily function from a systemic perspective, while implementing coordinated disease surveillance and treatment plans for each affected individual. From an economic perspective, financial incentives can be provided by way of shifting costs from disease treatment to disease prevention and health enhancement. When the correct incentives and disease management strategies are embraced, a disease-oriented intervention can ameliorate the devastating impact of COPD on patients and their families while relieving the economic impact of the disease. In summary, numerous stakeholders will need to come together in order to identify and remove barriers for implementation of preventive measures, provide early intervention, modify the disease course, and minimize the economic impact of COPD. Strategies should be developed for populations, as well as individual patients, if we are to adequately address this emerging epidemic. DOI: 10.2165/​0115677-200816050-00002
  • Chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease, Disease-management-programmes
  • RePEc:wkh:dmhout:v:16:y:2008:i:5:p:275-284
Language
  • English
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