When you live with lung disease, not only is your breathing affected, but your peace of mind as well. Lung disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Women, in particular, are at a greater risk of developing lung disease than men. Nearly 21 million U.S. women live with lung diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and pulmonary fibrosis. Millions more have early symptoms but haven’t been diagnosed.
The numbers are breathtaking:
- More than 13 million women in the U.S. have asthma – accounting for 65 percent of all adults with asthma
- An average of 193 women die each day of lung cancer, one every 7 minutes.
- An estimated 8.5 million U.S. women are living with COPD. Today, more women die of COPD each year than men.
Despite the data, women’s lung disease research is drastically underfunded compared to other causes of death. This disparity in funding leads to fewer treatment options and poorer health outcomes.
“Women’s lung health is the public health crisis no one is talking about. One out of every six women in the United States is living with chronic lung disease such as asthma, COPD, or lung cancer, yet federal research funding for these diseases is severely lacking,” says Joel Africk, President and CEO at Respiratory Health Association (RHA).
To address this disparity, RHA launched its Catch Your Breath® Women and Lung Health Initiative.
Catch Your Breath was originally inspired by the life of a woman named Lynn Kotsiantos. From a Chicago suburb, Lynn was a non-smoking, healthy mother of three shocked to learn that she had lung cancer. After a nine-month struggle, she passed away in April 2003 at the age of 42.
In her honor, Catch Your Breath® continues as a women’s lung health awareness campaign. Catch Your Breath® was designed to raise awareness and funding for lung health research and programs. To improve treatments, Catch Your Breath® advocates for increased funding for research to better understand lung disease. The initiative also educates the public and medical professionals about the disproportionate effects of lung disease on women.
One component of the Catch Your Breath® campaign is a partnership with Jewelry Television (JTV).
Throughout the month of February, JTV is offering a variety of promotions to its customers to support RHA and the Catch Your Breath® initiative, including a custom-designed butterfly keychain. For each keychain sold, half the sales price will be donated to RHA.
“Our partnership with JTV is an important part of our women’s lung health campaign because we can reach such a large audience – it is critical we get people talking about this issue and work to turn the tide in the fight against lung disease,” explains Africk.
Visit womenslunghealth.org to help every woman breathe easier.