HomePatientsLung Disease Week at the ATS2016 ▶ COPD Week


Welcome Message

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Week at the ATS."  Our goal is to provide information that may be helpful to you in the context of your overall care for your chronic lung disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a very common condition that currently affects approximately 24 million people in the United States (US), an estimated 6.3% of the US population, as well as millions of people worldwide. COPD is under-diagnosed—many people with COPD are unaware of their disease, and may attribute symptoms to slowing down with age.  COPD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. People with COPD experience distressing symptoms, exercise intolerance and impaired quality of life, often require frequent office visits with healthcare professionals and may require hospitalizations. It is currently the third leading cause of death in the US.  Medical comorbidities such as heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, osteoporosis, anemia, anxiety and depression are also common among individuals with COPD.   Importantly also, COPD is commonly misdiagnosed, as other conditions can cause similar symptoms.

Although COPD is not curable and imposes a large burden on patients, it can be readily managed. A focus on wellness is tremendously important, as comprehensive treatment can lead to marked improvements in symptoms and quality of life, and often also to stabilization of lung function over time.

Further general information regarding COPD is provided within these web pages.   The ATS supports those who are working diligently to develop strategies that will improve the lives of individuals with COPD.


Carolyn Rochester, MD
Carolyn Rochester, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine;
Medical Director, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program;
Medical Director,Yale COPD Center
Member, ATS Board of Directors