A series of five questions related to COPD were included on the 2011 Illinois Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). The results of the survey give policy makers, health care providers and support organizations a clearer picture of who has COPD and what can be done to best serve people living with the disease whether or not they are diagnosed.
The survey found that approximately 583,963 adults in Illinois (6.1 percent) have been diagnosed with COPD. Based on government estimates that as many as half of the people living with COPD are undiagnosed, an estimated 1.2 million Illinoisans are likely to have the disease. Of the people who said they had been diagnosed with COPD:
- 60.8 percent experience shortness of breath that affects their quality of life
- 42.7 percent have had a COPD-related doctor visit in the past 12 months
- 73.9 percent have had a COPD breathing test
- 55.1 percent take medication for COPD
- 15.9 percent have been to the emergency room or the hospital because of COPD
The results of the survey were a clear call to action for more work to be done to help people living with COPD maintain their quality of life. By raising awareness of the disease, diagnostic tools and treatment options, we can ensure that people living with COPD are living their best lives.