myhealthIQ

Preventive Care

Lifestyle Management

Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes

Asthma

COPD

Heart Failure

JBT Health Matters / Salud Cuenta

Home | Health Matters | Chronic Disease Management | COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a lung disease that makes it very hard to breathe. It is caused by damage to the lungs over time, usually from smoking.

As reported by U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. More than 12 million people are diagnosed with the disease, and another 12 million may have COPD, but not know it.

COPD can be a mix of:

  • Emphysema—When you have emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs are damaged; this makes it difficult for air to get in and out of your lungs and causes shortness of breath.
  • Chronic Bronchitis—When you have bronchitis, the airways that carry air into your lung are swollen and make mucus; this narrows or blocks your airways, making it difficult to breathe and causing you to cough.

COPD develops and gets worse over time. Its symptoms include shortness of breath or feeling like you can’t breathe, constant coughing and wheezing.

Risks for COPD

Some things increase an individual’s risk for developing COPD, including:

  • Smoking—This is the most common cause of COPD; research suggests that at least 10 out of 15 smokers develop COPD, and smoking accounts for 9 out of 10 COPD-related deaths.
  • Environmental exposure—COPD can occur if you’ve been exposed to irritants like chemicals, dust or fumes; secondhand smoke can also contribute to COPD.
  • Family history—A genetic condition called AAT deficiency (Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic condition you inherit) can cause COPD.
  • Chronic asthma—You can develop COPD if your lungs have permanent damage from asthma.

What You Can Do

Whether you are at risk for COPD or have been diagnosed, there are steps you can take to improve your health and quality of life.

  • Quit smoking—This is the most important step you can take to reduce your risk for COPD or improve your health if you suffer from the disease.
  • Talk with and see your doctor regularly—Your doctor can test you for COPD, help you quit smoking and prescribe medications that help control your symptoms.
  • Get a flu shot—The flu can cause serious problems for people with COPD.
  • Get a pneumonia vaccine shot—Pneumonia can cause serious problems for people with COPD, so ask your doctor about getting the pneumonia vaccine.

If your annual myhealthIQ results indicate you are at risk for COPD (tobacco user) or you already suffer from COPD, we encourage you to learn more about the Health Matters Lifestyle Management program; if you are invited to join our Chronic Disease Management program, enroll. These programs are available to eligible participants at no cost.

Also, learn all you can about your condition. These websites provide detailed information:

Frequently Asked Questions

Customer Service

Healthways
1-877-743-6824

JBT Health Matters Office
1-800-284-3926

Condition-Related Links

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
www.nhlbi.nih.gov
www.LearnAboutCOPD.org

For Help Quitting Smoking

Smokefree.gov
www.smokefree.gov

Smoking Stops Here
1-800-QUIT NOW

Your Privacy | Terms of Use | Glossary | What's New

© Joint Benefit Trust. All rights reserved. All other copyrights are reserved by their respective holders.
The information on this website is intended only to provide highlights of the benefits available under the Joint Benefit Trust. Complete information about the Plan is contained in the governing Plan documents and any applicable insurance contracts. In the event of any inconsistency between the information on this website and the official Plan documents, the terms of the official Plan documents will govern. The Joint Benefit Trust reserves the right to amend, modify, or terminate all or part of the Plan at any time.

Page modified on 12/20/10 10:57 AM