Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of progressive respiratory conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, characterized by airflow obstruction and symptoms such as shortness of breath, chronic cough, and sputum production. COPD is an important contributor to mortality and disability in the United States. Healthy People 2020 has several COPD-related objectives,* including to reduce activity limitations among adults with COPD. To assess the state-level prevalence of COPD and the association of COPD with various activity limitations among U.S. adults, CDC analyzed data from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Among U.S. adults in all 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), and two U.S. territories, 6.4% (an estimated 15.7 million adults) had been told by a physician or other health professional that they have COPD. Adults who reported having COPD were more likely to report being unable to work (24.3% versus 5.3%), having an activity limitation caused by health problems (49.6% versus 16.9%), having difficulty walking or climbing stairs (38.4% versus 11.3%), or using special equipment to manage health problems (22.1% versus 6.7%), compared with adults without COPD. Smokers who have been diagnosed with COPD are encouraged to quit smoking, which can slow the progression of the disease and reduce mobility impairment. In addition, COPD patients should consider participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation program that combines patient education and exercise training to address barriers to physical activity, such as respiratory symptoms and muscle wasting.
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