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Announcement: National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Awareness Month — November 2015

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, makes breathing difficult for millions of persons in the United States (1). November is National COPD Awareness Month, an observance supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's campaign, "COPD: Learn More, Breathe Better." This year's theme is "Raising Our Voices Because Millions With COPD Can't."

Persons with COPD might experience frequent coughing, excess phlegm or sputum production, shortness of breath, wheezing, or difficulty taking a deep breath. Adults with COPD are more likely to have difficulty with tasks such as walking or climbing stairs, to require the use of special equipment to manage health problems, and to be unable to work compared with persons without COPD (2).

Although COPD currently has no cure, it can be treated, improving symptoms and making hospitalizations less likely. The first step toward diagnosing COPD is a simple breathing test called spirometry. More information about COPD is available from CDC at and from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at


  1. Ford ES, Croft JB, Mannino DM, Wheaton AG, Zhang X, Giles WH. COPD surveillance—United States, 1999–2011. Chest 2013;144:284–305.
  2. Wheaton AG, Cunningham TJ, Ford ES, Croft JB. Employment and activity limitations among adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—United States, 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64:289–95.

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