a depiction of suffering community members with assistive device

Straight From the Community: Results from the Sixth Annual COPD In America Survey

It is estimated that more than 250 million people worldwide have COPD and over 65 million of them have moderate to severe cases. In an effort to better understand the effects of this disease, we have fielded our COPD In America survey for the past six years. The 2020 COPD In America survey had over 2,700 participants and a snapshot of their responses can be found below.

How do respondents view the severity of their COPD?

Like many chronic conditions, the severity of COPD varies greatly from patient to patient. Over half (52%) of patients report needing help with household duties and about ¾ (72%) went on a prescription medication within a month of diagnosis.

Three lungs with red-, orange-, and peach-colored fluid representing patient-reported severity of COPD

What are the most commonly reported symptoms?

COPD patients experience a wide range of symptoms throughout the body. 45% report feeling anxiety/panic, 41% experience rib cramping, and only 1% of patients report experiencing no symptoms.

Four horizontal bar graphs (orange, red, light orange, pink) representing the most commonly reported COPD symptoms

How many exacerbations/flare-ups have our respondents had in the past year?

COPD exacerbations (also known as flare-ups) are a worsening of symptoms caused by different factors. They are an unfortunate reality for most COPD patients but can sometimes be prevented or quelled with proper attention.

Four white shapes with varying numbers of yellow, orange, and red fire emojis representing the number of COPD exacerbations experienced in the past year

What about other health conditions?

94% of COPD patients report having at least one other health condition, including 33% with depression and 21% with sleep apnea. The most commonly diagnosed cancer among respondents was skin cancer (14%) and 71% reported never having a cancer diagnosis.

Tissue box, blood pressure reader, hand with bone, and head with fire emojis representing common comorbidities of COPD patients

What is the employment status of our respondents?

COPD can make it very challenging to have a job. Only 15% of respondents report being employed and 48% make less than $30,000 a year.

Pie chart with shades of orange, red, and yellow representing respondents employment status

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The COPD in America 2020 survey was conducted online from March through July of 2020. 2,704 people completed the survey.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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