Skip to content past banner and navigation links
Volume 7, Issue 3
Quarter 3 2013

CDC Releases State-Specific Fact Sheets on COPD

Thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fact sheets on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are now available for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The fact sheets provide further insight into the characteristics of those affected by the disease. Each fact sheet provides a table with the reported prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD among adults by age, race/ethnicity, sex, employment status, education level, household income, marital status, smoking status, and asthma history. Each fact sheet also includes a figure depicting health and healthcare characteristics by COPD status.

Age-Adjusted Percentage of U.S. Adults with COPD by State or Territory, 2011

The data for these fact sheets was obtained through the CDC's 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Survey. The BRFSS is a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. For many states, the BRFSS is the only available source of timely, accurate data on health-related behaviors. 2011 was the first year that the CDC collected data on COPD across all 50 states via BRFSS. This state-level data on COPD comes as the result of a partnership between the CDC and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

In 2011, as a result of the same collaboration, some states also collected additional information from respondents with COPD. The fact sheets for those states that used this optional module in the 2011 BRFSS survey also contain information about spirometry, daily medication use, physician visits, hospital or emergency room visits and how shortness of breath affects quality of life.


^ top

Growing the Breathe Better Network: Strong Partnerships Moving COPD Awareness Forward

Breathe Better Network Members map from 2009 to 2013

Since its launch in 2007, COPD Learn More Breathe Better (LMBB) has worked with COPD coalitions and task forces across the country to integrate Campaign resources into local outreach in an effort to reach and educate those most at-risk for COPD. In 2009, the Breathe Better Network was formalized to further support outreach and education efforts led by local health associations, departments of public health, hospitals, and other organizations; to recognize the tremendous effort and value of those organizations working with the Campaign; and to jointly make a difference for those affected by COPD. Starting with members in 16 states, the Breathe Better Network has now grown to more than 80 organizations reaching all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Over the last four years, LMBB has worked to support Network partners and has seen them utilize Campaign materials as part of their ongoing outreach efforts; develop new and innovative programs; and mentor colleagues and fledgling organizations within the Network. Network activities have included participation in local health fairs, engagement with the medical community about early diagnosis and the need for increased awareness, conducting Country Conquers COPD™ events, and developing and implementing COPD action plans specific to their geographic reach. This activity has helped reach those at-risk for COPD where they live, work, and play, and encouraged them to talk to their health care provider.

Steady growth has taken us to this level and we are proud of what the Network has done to help those affected by COPD — from patients and those at-risk to caregivers. Together, the Network continues to move COPD awareness forward and reach those affected by this lung disease across the United States. With the Network in motion, we look forward to continuing to grow and foster our partnerships — and to working together to fight the third leading cause of death.

If you would like to share what you've been up to, you can do so by emailing the Campaign at and also share your upcoming events with us on the Campaign's events page.


^ top

Breathing Easier in Tennessee

Courtesy of COPD Foundation

Recently, the COPD Foundation released a white paper focused on the impact of COPD in Tennessee, where they have regional efforts taking place.

The paper, "Breathing Easier in Tennessee: How Employers Can Mitigate the Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease," discusses strategies for employers in Tennessee to improve the productivity and quality of life for employees living with COPD. (The rate of prevalence of COPD in Tennessee is 8.7%, the third highest in the nation, according to the CDC).

The paper outlines essential steps that employers can take to reverse this health crisis, including:

  • Accessing tools to better understand and measure the full impact of COPD on the workforce, such as the www.copdfoundation.orgexternal disclaimer, which enables employers to estimate COPD costs and potential savings that could result from better management
  • Establishing a benefit plan with employee incentives for following COPD preventative care and medication compliance
  • Ensuring health plan coverage for COPD-related care, such as pulmonary rehabilitation services and maintenance programs
  • Encouraging employees to take the five-question COPD Risk Screenerexternal disclaimer

Click here to downloadexternal disclaimer "Breathing Easier in Tennessee: Employers Mitigate the Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease."


^ top

Country Conquers COPD™ Heads West

Country Conquers COPD(TM)
Cheyenne Frontier Days
Cheyenne Frontier Days

The Campaign's Country Conquers COPD™ event series has been on the road over the past several months, raising awareness about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The NHLBI program travels nationwide, working closely with Breathe Better Network members and local lung experts to provide important information about COPD signs and symptoms, offer free educational materials, and encourage those at-risk and their loved ones to talk with a health care provider.

From July 26 to 28, the team was in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the Cheyenne Frontier Days — the nation's largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration, which attracts more than 250,000 each year over its ten day span. More than 5,000 attendees stopped by the Country Conquers COPD tent to pick up important lung health information and talk to volunteer respiratory therapists, with almost 300 taking advantage of free spirometry testing.

The COPD Learn More Breathe Better team gives a special thanks to the Colorado Society for Respiratory Care, the American Lung Association in Wyoming, the American Association for Respiratory Care, and the COPD Foundation for their support!

Visit the Country Conquers COPD website to find out more and to see pictures and footage from past events.


^ top

Breathe Better Network Update

COPD Learn More Breath Better Network

In October 2009, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign formalized its partnership network and launched the Breathe Better Network. The Network continues to grow and recently added a new organization to its ranks:

Institute for Nurse Practitioner Excellenceexternal disclaimer
The Institute for Nurse Practitioner Excellence (INPE) is a newly formed partnership whose mission is to promote excellence in NP practice and outcomes by providing superior, evidence-based education, research, and resources. Established by and for NPs, INPEs goal is to provide content designed to help NPs make a greater difference in their patients' health. INPE is joining the Breathe Better Network as a supporting partner and, among other activities, will be sharing COPD Learn More Breathe Better resources and educational materials with its network.

Please join the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign in welcoming this new Breathe Better Network member! If you know of a group or organization that might be a strong addition to the Network, please let us know by sending an email to


^ top


We Want to Hear From You!

If there is an outstanding member of your team that you want to recognize, or if your organization is working on a project that you think should be included in the next COPD Learn More Breathe Better Update, we want to hear from you. Email us at and let us know what you're doing to raise COPD awareness.

And, if you weren't aware, the Campaign also has an updated Facebook pageexternal disclaimer where you can see new activity including videos from Breathe Better Network activity during National COPD Awareness Month. Check it out and become a fan of the Campaign's page.

That's not all! You can follow the Campaign @BreatheBetterexternal disclaimer on Twitter and join the conversation.