Trends in the Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A review of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System showed the prevalence of COPD has remained stable overall, but with disparities based on rural residence.  Specifically, between the years 2011 and 2021, prevalence increased for adults 75 years and older, for those living in rural areas, and for those who smoked.  Researchers suggest the COPD National Action Plan provides a comprehensive framework for COPD prevention, treatment, and management strategies. These can be tailored to address risk factors specific to various populations. In rural areas, for example, there are higher rates of smoking, history of asthma, and exposure to lung irritants, but limited access to pulmonologists.  The Rural Health Information Hub recently updated the Rural Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Toolkit, with models for effective COPD programs, issues to consider when implementing, and resources for funding and sustainability.

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