MARCH 2 2012 05:21h

Many with COPD not treated with medication

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ATLANTA, March 1 (UPI) -- Forty-three percent of North Carolina adults who said they had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease said they had visited a doctor in the previous 12 months.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied COPD in North Carolina.

Smoking is the primary cause of COPD -- a progressive condition in which airflow becomes limited, making it difficult to breathe -- and at least 75 percent of COPD deaths are attributable to smoking in the United States.

Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System involving 26,227 respondents, 5.7 percent reported ever having been told by a health professional that they had COPD.

"Forty-eight percent reported daily use of medications for their COPD in 2007, indicating many adults with COPD might not have had adequate diagnostic spirometry, and many who might benefit from daily medications, such as long-acting bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, are not taking them," a report published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said. "Continued and expanded surveillance is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs and support efforts to educate the public and physicians about COPD symptoms diagnosis, and treatment."