In just four months since its launch, DRIVE4COPD has already encouraged more than 100,000 people to be screened to see if they may be at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The country’s newest health initiative that aims to raise awareness of COPD in the hopes that people will talk to their doctor and get diagnosed instead of suffering in silence. Currently, half of the estimated 24 million Americans who may have COPD remain undiagnosed and untreated, and most are not diagnosed until they have lost half their lung function.
“Many people confuse common COPD symptoms, like shortness of breath or a cough that won’t go away, with normal signs of aging and wait too long to see a doctor,” said Brian Carlin, MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine. “Hopefully these first 100,000 people will be an inspiration for others to recognize the importance of finding out if they are risk.”
To determine one’s risk for COPD, people aged 35 and older can log onto DRIVE4COPD.COM and answer five brief questions on a validated screening tool. If the screener indicates they may be at risk for COPD, the results should be printed and brought to their doctor to discuss.
Spearheaded by campaign ambassador and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ driver Danica Patrick, the DRIVE4COPD Race Team is in a year-long competition to screen the most people who may be at risk for COPD. The Race Team includes Emmy-nominated actor Jim Belushi, Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner, Grammy Award-winning country music star Patty Loveless and Pro Football great Michael Strahan. Each has a loved one who struggled with the disease.