Breathe Easy, Norwich urges you to get tested

Support group Breathe Easy, Norwich will be supporting the British Lung Foundation’s World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day on Wednesday 16th November 2011 by making the people of Norfolk aware of COPD, which is one of the UK’s biggest killers.

To raise awareness of the day the group will be holding an information stand at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) in the East Atrium on Wednesday 16 November.

COPD is an umbrella term for a number of conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a progressive, irreversible lung disease yet it is both preventable and treatable and early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of the illness.

COPD currently kills more people every year than colon cancer, more men than prostate cancer and more women than breast cancer. Symptoms of COPD include a persistent cough, a wheezy chest, and recurrent chest infections.

Paula Browne, NNUH Respiratory Nurse Specialist says “We want to encourage anyone locally who thinks they may have symptoms of COPD or who are concerned about their lung health to visit the stand and to find out more information visit the BLF website to take a breathe test to see if you are at risk of COPD. There are nearly three million people out there who might have the disease and we want to catch them early enough so they can be treated”.

The British Lung Foundation is calling for anyone who is displaying symptoms such as a persistent cough, wheezy chest or is a smoker or ex-smoker and over the age of 35 to be offered a lung function test by their GP.

Breathe Easy Norwich is part of the British Lung Foundation’s support network which provides support to people affected by lung diseases and their carers.

For more information about Breathe Easy Norwich event or to attend group meetings please contact Paula Browne on 01603 289779.

Notes for editors

1. COPD is the umbrella term for a number of lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It kills more people every year than breast, bowel or prostate cancer.

2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, irreversible lung disease. It is both preventable and treatable. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can slow the progression of the illness.

3. The UK faces a chronic lung disease time bomb. COPD is already the fifth biggest killer in the UK and it is only major cause of death whose incidence is on the increase.

4. COPD is caused by smoking or by exposure to environmental pollution and to hazards at work such as dust, fumes and gases. In a very small number of people it is caused by a genetic deficiency.

5. The British Lung Foundation is the only UK charity working for everyone affected by lung disease. The charity focuses its resources on providing support for people affected by lung disease today; and works in a variety of ways (including funding world-class research) to bring about positive change, to improve treatment, care and support for people affect by lung disease in the future.

6. It provides information via the website and telephone helpline 08458 50 50 20.

7. One person in every seven in the UK is affected by lung disease – this equates to approximately 8 million people.

8. Respiratory disease is the second biggest killer in the UK (117,456 deaths in 2004) after all non-respiratory cancers combined which only account for slightly more deaths (122,500 deaths in UK in 2004).

9. Respiratory disease now kills one in five people in the UK.

10. The UK’s death rate from respiratory disease is almost double the European average and the 6th highest in Europe.

Monday 14th of November 2011 11:00:01 AM