Certain sedatives linked to breathing issues for COPD patients

A new Canadian study has found that Benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan) or alprazolam (Xanax), which are commonly prescribed to treat insomnia and anxiety, increase the risk of serious breathing problems in older people with COPD

Those who had been newly prescribed a benzodiazepine had a 45 percent increased risk of experiencing breathing problems that required outpatient treatment.  In addition, the study found that these patients also had a 92 percent greater risk of needing to go to the emergency room for treatment of pneumonia or COPD, and were more likely to be hospitalized for breathing problems.

The severity of a patient’s COPD did not appear to be a factor. Patients with less advanced and more advanced COPD showed a similar outcome.

ref: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-04-adverse-respiratory-outcomes-older-people.html

Regular exercise can reduce hospital readmissions for COPD patients

Two and a half hours per week of exercise can reduce hospital readmissions for COPD patients….

In a study of the electronic health records of 6,042 Kaiser Permanente COPD patients in Southern California who were 40 years or older and who were hospitalized with COPD between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012, researchers found that regular physical activity could cut the need for hospital readmission.

These health records were obtained as part of Kaiser Permanente’s clinical practice to inquire about exercise as a vital sign, The patients’ self-reported physical activity was documented in their electronic health record during routine clinical visits along with other vital signs such as blood pressure. The patient base in this study was ethnically diverse – consisting of patients who were 68 percent white, 15 percent black, 12 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander. The number of men and women in the study was also similar to the overall COPD patient population.

The findings concluded that patients with COPD who exercised 150 minutes or more a week (1/2 hour per day – 5 days a week) had a 34 percent lower risk of readmission within 30 days compared to those who were inactive. Patients who reported exercising less than 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity still had a lower risk of 30-day readmission compared to those who did not exercise at all.

Read more: http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/news/20140409/exercise-may-curtail-copd-complications?src=RSS_PUBLIC

COPD Education series – FREE for everyone

The COPD Center at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA, is presenting a six-week seminar series which is designed to educate and inform patients and the public about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This is the 8th presentation of this series which started in 2009

Each session will include two topics with lecturers drawn from various departments at Lahey Clinic, with the view that COPD is a complex disease that is best managed by experts from a variety of disciplines.

The lectures are FREE to the public, and all patients, families and caregivers are encouraged to attend.

COPD International is an active participant in these presentations.

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
41 Mall Road – - FREE Parking
5th Floor, East – Steane Conference Room
Burlington, MA 01805
10:00am – 12:00pm EDT


  • Apr 25, 2014 – Session 1
    Topic 1: Introduction to COPD – Chip Gatchell
    Topic 2: What is COPD? – Dr Timothy Wu
  • May 2, 2014 – Session 2
    Topic 1: Medications for COPD – Leslie Mitchell, PharmD
    Topic 2: Diet and COPD – Holly Brassett MS, RD, LDN
  • May 9, 2014 – Session 3
    Topic 1: Everything You Wanted to Know about Oxygen – Edward Boroda
    Pulmonary Function Testing – Lissa Judd, CRTT
    Topic 2: Tobacco Treatment – Margaret Russo CTTS-M
  • May 16, 2014 – Session 4
    Topic 1: COPD and Rehabilitation – Jon Kelley PT
    Topic 2: COPD: Are there nonmedical interventions? – Dr. Timothy Wu
  • May 23, 2014 – Session 5
    Topic 1: Coping with Lifestyle and Psychological Challenges Related to COPD – Alyce Getler, PsyD
    Topic 2: Living Proactively with COPD: Planning for the Future – Lisa Catalano, MSW, LICSW
  • May 30, 2014 – Session 6
    Topic: Conclusion – Chip Gatchell
    includes additional information on Portable Oxygen equipment & POC’s
    Care of your caregiver
    Additional support
    Closing comments.

For more information, contact webmaster at COPD-International.com
Visit www.lahey.org or call 781-744-COPD (2673).

COPD patient support program for Tudorza® Pressair® and Daliresp®

The STRIDE (Start Treatment, Real-time Information, Disease Education) COPD patient support program by Forest Laboratories, Inc. is designed to help patients who have been prescribed Tudorza® Pressair® (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder) or Daliresp® (roflumilast) by answering questions they may have about their chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment.

The primary goal of the STRIDE program is to help Tudorza and Daliresp patients receive the full benefits of their prescribed therapies, including treatment education, instruction on the proper use of the Pressair inhaler and other useful tools to help COPD. patients.

The STRIDE program features a dedicated call center staffed by registered nurses who have been trained to answer questions about these products and also reimbursement specialists who are prepared to answer insurance coverage and co-pay questions.

Patients and their caregivers can access the STRIDE program by calling 1-855-STRIDE8 (787-4338) from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM ET. More information about the STRIDE program and the opportunity to join can also be found at www.daliresp.com/startstride or www.tudorza.com/startstride.

Trilogy Ventilator Recall by Philips Respironics

Philips Respironics has issued a voluntary recall due to a potentially defective component on the Trilogy Ventilator power management board, which could affect the function of the device. If not corrected it is possible that the ventilator may fail to deliver mechanical breaths and that the alarm functionality may be reduced to indicate ventilatory failure, resulting in serious adverse health consequences or death.

Unit affected are Ventilator Models 100, 200 and 202 which were shipped between December 31, 2013, and January 30, 2014.

 For answers to questions about the recall or support concerning this, contact the Customer Care Center: 1-800-345-6443.

Medicare disenrollment period ends February 14, 2014

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you’ll have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.

What are your options?

If you have Medicare Advantage plan with Prescription Drug coverage you can switch to the:
• Original Medicare and a prescription drug plan or
• Original Medicare without a prescription drug plan

If you have Medicare Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage you can switch to the:
• Original Medicare and a prescription drug plan or
• Original Medicare without a prescription drug plan

If you have Medicare Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage and a stand-alone prescription drug plan you can switch to the:
• Original Medicare, but you must keep your current stand-alone prescription drug plan

If you have Original Medicare or Original Medicare and a prescription drug plan, you may take no action during this time

Nasal Dyspnea in the COPD patient

Nasal dyspnea is a condition which leads to obstruction of the airways to the nose and with it, added difficulty in breathing. A recent study by French researchers found that chronic nasal symptoms may occur more frequently in COPD patients than in the corresponding general population. The result also indicated that the patient’s shortness of breath may be the result of both nasal and bronchial inflammation.

Of the 274 COPD patients in the study, 42% reported chronic nasal issues. This is compared to only 10% in the similar over 60 year old general population.

Diagnosing and treating chronic nasal dyspnea from inflammation, along with the current bronchial treatments, could provide another major step in improving the quality of life for the COPD patient.

Ref: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/resp.12224/abstract

COPD and Memory Loss

In a 33 month long study of 1927 people in the 70 to 89 year old age group at the Mayo Clinic, researchers found that people with COPD are about twice as likely to develop Mild Cognitive Impairment(MCI). They further concluded that the impairment could also include mild memory loss.

Of the 1927 participants in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, 288 had COPD. As compared with patients without COPD, patients with COPD had a higher prevalence of MCI. The odds ratio for MCI was almost 2 times higher in patients with COPD than in those without. The results were similar for both men and women. The MCI increased by 31% in patients with a COPD duration of more than 5 years.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is defined as the intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It can involve memory, language, thinking and judgment. The individual, and other family and friends may notice the decline, but generally these changes aren’t severe enough to interfere with every day life and activities.

Looking Back and Forward with COPD

January is named after Janus the Roman God of Doorways who represented the arrival of the New Year. He was always depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions – one looking back and one looking forward.

Looking back, We know through experience what we did wrong and what we did right, and hope to do better this year. We have seen a great increase in awareness about COPD, and with it the start of ground breaking research covering all aspects of the disease from causes – to genetics – to new meds and treatment protocols. Here at COPD International we have also been blessed with the greatest network for information, support and friendships. Yes, we have lost many, but we have been blessed too, with the opportunity to share in their lives and to enjoy having had priceless time with them.

Looking forward, we must continue to promote awareness. Continuing to increase its impact will result in even greater medical improvements for our condition. Even more important than that, though, we need to continue, or even increase our support of others, and with it reap the rewards from helping others. We are a unique group, with a disease that is quite different from most – with it, we owe each other the respect that comes with kindness, tolerance and friendship.

ANORO™ ELLIPTA™ approved as first once-daily dual bronchodilator

ANORO™ ELLIPTA™, a combination anticholinergic and long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA), indicated for long-term, once-daily, treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, has received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

It is the first combination product approved in the U.S. that delivers two once-daily bronchodilators in a single inhaler. This approval is a significant achievement for GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance, Inc.

It is anticipated that it will come to market in the US during the first quarter of 2014