Join Green Mountain Research Institute's efforts to learn more about COPD, spread awarness, take action to reduce the burden of COPD in Vermont, and recognize the early warning signs.
Here's how you can get involved:
Learn about COPD
-What Causes COPD?
Over time, exposure to lung irritants like tobacco smoke or chemicals can damage your lungs and airways. This long-term exposure can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The leading cause of COPD is smoking, however 1 in 4 with COPD never smoked.
-COPD Risk Factors
COPD is often referred to as a "smoker’s disease" however although smoking is one of the main risk factors for developing COPD, people who never smoke may also develop COPD. Other risk factors may include: A history of childhood respiratory infections, smoke exposure from coal or wood burning stove, exposure to secondhand smoke, people with a history of asthma, people who have underdeveloped lungs , those who are age 40 and older as lung function declines as you age.
While these causes and risk factors may increase your risk of developing COPD, people living in poverty and people living in rural areas are more likely to develop COPD. Beyond smoking status, some reasons for the increased risk of developing COPD may include exposures to indoor and outdoor pollutants, occupational exposures and lack of access to healthcare.
-How to Reduce Your Risk for COPD
If you are concerned about developing COPD, you can take steps to reduce your risk.
Quit smoking for good by finding support, programs, and resources, avoid secondhand smoke exposure, stay up to date with your vaccinations since they help protect you against respiratory viruses. If you are exposed to chemicals, dust and fumes through your workplace, use appropriate protective equipment and attend safety training.
COPD is a progressive disease, and it can get worse overtime. If you have risk factors for COPD or are experiencing symptoms, do not wait to talk to your healthcare provider. The earlier you are diagnosed with COPD, the sooner treatment can begin.
COPD symptoms are felt, not measured, so you have to share what symptoms you are experiencing, and how often they occur, with your healthcare provider. Not everyone experiences the same COPD symptoms and knowing in which ways COPD is most impacting your life helps your healthcare provider come up with a treatment plan customized for you.
Here are the most common COPD symptoms:
Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea)
Coughing up sputum (also called phlegm or mucus)
Wheezing or chest tightness
Fatigue or tiredness
Unable to take a deep breath
Feel like you cannot breathe
Talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The sooner you begin treating your COPD and maintaining control, the less damage you will cause to your lungs.
Understanding the Impact of COPD in Vermont
COPD by the Numbers in Vermont
Adults diagnosed with COPD - 34,653
COPD prevalence - 6.6%
COPD mortality in 2023 - 295
Annual cost of COPD treatment - $69 Million
Workdays lost to COPD - 43,870
Who is most likely to have worse outcomes and barriers to treatment?
• People living in rural communities.
• People with lower income levels.
• People with lower educational levels
These numbers are important to truly understand how crucial it is to spread awareness to help prevent COPD and to get it treated when you notice symptoms. This is why we are passionate about sharing this information and finding better ways to help those struggling wit this disease.
Join a Clinical Study
Why We Need Research
COPD research helps us understand how the disease is caused, how it develops and how it is best treated, and eventually will improve the lives of millions and future generations. Through research, we can provide a better and longer future for those diagnosed with COPD.
Green Mountain Research Institute is committed to finding better ways to detect, diagnose, treat and prevent COPD through research. Without the dedication of researchers, important and much needed discoveries would be impossible. GMRI is helping to change the nature COPD patient care across the United States, but most especially here in Vermont.
If you or someone you love has COPD, takes more than two medications to treat it, and has frequent flare-ups - find out if you qualify for a clinical study.
Participants get access to specialists & frequent check-ups, may receive cutting edge treatment, and compensation for time and travel.
No costs - no insurance necessary.
Be a part of making a healthier tomorrow by joining a clinical trial.
Find out more by clicking here