PEORIA, Ill -- More than 12 million Americans are diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and another 12 million people might not even know they have it, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
In honor of COPD awareness month, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center hosted a COPD awareness event today to educate the public on symptoms, screening, prevention and treatment of the disease that kills more than 120,000 Americans each year.
OSF respiratory therapist Sara Shull says screening is critical since the slow onset of symptoms of COPD can delay treatment.
"There's a simple screen you can do, that has five questions, that can actually, based on your score, indicate that you might need some more testing to be done. So, we're just trying to get more people screened," said Shull.
Smoking is the main cause of COPD but environmental and genetic factors also play a role.
For more information about COPD and screening visit www.copdfoundation.org.