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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
December 6, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes one death every four minutes in the US. There are more than 12 million people diagnosed, and possibly another 12 million who don't know they have it.

If you're over the age of 40 and have a history of smoking, history of shortness of breath, you could be at risk.

Jim Perrine is the manager at Cabell Huntington Hospital's Center for Lung Health. He said they see many patients presenting symptoms of COPD.

"They think the normal part of aging is shortness of breath and chronic cough," he said.

It's not normal, and chances are, it's only going to get worse. It's a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe.

A simple spirometry test that measures breaths can help determine if you have COPD, and what stage it's in -- mild moderate or severe.

"Smoking cessation is a huge part of treatment for those individuals," Perrine said.

While it's irreversible, there are medications and treatments to help people with COPD feel better and live longer. "You are prescribed therapy to manage COPD-- usually a bronchodilator and corticosteroids. We encourage everyone to have vaccinations throughout the year. That's very important," Perrine said.

The Center for Lung Health at Cabell Huntington Hospital offers diagnostic testing and treatment for COPD.

For more information, you can reach them at 304-399-2881, or at the following web site:

Copyright ©2013 WCHS-TV Eyewitness News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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