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Survey: COPD patients need more education on their disease state

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may need more education and better dialogue with their physicians to effectively manage the progressive respiratory condition, according to key findings from a two-part national COPE, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Experience, Survey initiative released last week by the COPD Foundation.

While COPD exacerbations are a leading cause of hospitalization in the United States, nearly two-thirds (62%) of COPD patients surveyed admitted to not knowing much about them — and an additional 16% did not know what an exacerbation was at all. As many as 60% of COPD patients reported that they did not have an action plan for dealing with a flare-up. By contrast, in the part of the COPE Survey targeting physicians who treat COPD, almost all of them said they discuss exacerbations (98%) and establish action plans (92%) with their patients. This suggests an opportunity to improve care through more productive, meaningful communication between COPD patients and their physicians.

“Exacerbations can have a devastating impact on overall health, and they can actually cause COPD to progress even faster and reduce lung function,” said Scott Cerreta, director of education for the COPD Foundation. “Developing an action plan with instructions to help patients — and their caregivers — identify warning signs and what steps to take if an exacerbation should occur is a critical part of managing COPD.” 

Additionally, the survey revealed that only 12% of COPD patients consider their condition to be “completely controlled” and indicated that COPD disrupts patients’ ability to complete normal daily activities, such as exercising (87%), climbing stairs (86%) and walking (77%). However, as many as 82% of patients who have a COPD treatment regimen said they are satisfied with it, suggesting that many may be unaware that more could be done.

“COPD can be treated, but it’s crucial for doctors to diagnose it early and for patients to follow the appropriate therapeutic strategies to improve symptoms, increase activity and reduce the chances of exacerbations,” said MeiLan Han, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Michigan. “It's important that physicians develop an individualized approach that works best for each patient.”

The COPE patient and physician surveys were conducted by the COPD Foundation with support from Forest Labs as part of Forest’s MORE Matters education campaign. The initiative aims to provide people living with COPD and their caregivers what they want more of: education about the condition, helpful resources and the support needed to help them manage the disease.

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New Quest Products skin care spray tackles eczema, psoriasis

BY Antoinette Alexander

GURNEE, Ill. — Quest Products has announced the national launch of its ProVent Eczema and Psoriasis Spray, a spray formulated to help minimize the appearance of skin conditions often associated with eczema and psoriasis.

The formula provides non-steroidal, natural relief and contains no parabens, no artificial dyes and no artificial fragrances, the company stated. ProVent Eczema and Psoriasis Spray contains extracts from 25 different herbs and is based on a century-old formula that originated in India.  

The ProVent Eczema and Psoriasis Spray helps skin regain and maintain health when used as directed as part of daily skin care regime over 12 weeks, the company stated.  

ProVent Eczema and Psoriasis Spray is available at such retailers as Meijer and Harris Teeter, and through multiple online retailers.

 

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CDC launches latest round of anti-smoking ads

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be launching hard-hitting ads for its 2014 “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign, the agency announced Tuesday. Beginning July 7, these ads will run nationwide for nine weeks on television, radio and billboards, online and in theaters, magazines and newspapers. The launch of these ads comes as CDC is also releasing new data on how many U.S. adults use some form of tobacco.

“These new ads are powerful. They highlight illnesses and suffering caused by smoking that people don’t commonly associate with cigarette use,” said CDC director Tom Frieden. “Smokers have told us these ads help them quit by showing what it’s like to live every day with disability and disfigurement from smoking.”

Participants include Amanda, a 30-year-old who smoked during pregnancy and whose baby was born two months early and then spent weeks in an incubator. According to the 2014 Surgeon General’s report on the health consequences of smoking, at least 1-in-10 women smoke during the last three months of pregnancy, making this powerful new Tips ad an important way to educate and connect women with smoking-cessation services.

“Amanda’s powerful story brings to life some of the health problems smoking during pregnancy can cause for unborn children,” said Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The best time to quit smoking is before you get pregnant, but quitting any time during pregnancy can help your baby get a better start on life.”

Two Spanish-language ads will run on national Spanish media channels. One features Rose, who has lung cancer, while a second features Felicita and Brett, who both lost their teeth to smoking.

Hard-hitting media campaigns like Tips have been shown to reduce tobacco use. More than 1-in-5 U.S. adults uses some form of tobacco regularly, according to CDC’s National Adult Tobacco Survey. The survey shows that while the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults every day or some days was 18% during 2012-2013, when factoring in use of all combustible products — such as cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, pipes and hookahs— prevalence increases to 19.2%. Including non-combustible tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, increases prevalence to 21.3%. When the survey factors in adults who say they use tobacco products rarely — that is, occasionally or intermittently — prevalence rises to 22.9% for combustible tobacco products and 25.2% for tobacco products overall.

The survey indicates that among adults who use tobacco products every day or some days, prevalence of cigarette smoking was 18%, smokeless tobacco was 2.6%, cigars and cigarillos was 2%, e-cigarettes was 1.9%, hookahs was 0.5% and pipes was 0.3%. Including those who say they use tobacco products rarely, prevalence was 3.8% for smokeless tobacco, 5.8% for cigars, little cigars and cigarillos, 4.2% for e-cigarettes, 3.9% for hookahs and 0.9% for pipes.

Consistent with other national surveys of cigarette smoking, these new data show that prevalence of any tobacco use was greater among men and among people who are less educated and who have lower household incomes.

 

 

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