COPD: A Deadly Trend For Women - Northern Michigan's News Leader

COPD: A Deadly Trend For Women

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, better known as COPD, has now become the third leading cause of death in this country. Not only that, but the incurable disease is now effecting more women than men. Mercy Hospital Cadillac has a special rehab program to help sufferers live a normal life. Robyn Haines talks to one of the patient's in Living Right. 67-year-old Jackie Mosher didn't think much of it when she started having shortness of breath... A smoker for 30 years, she thought it was just asthma, or allergies. Then a series of tests showed she suffered from severe COPD. The incurable disease now affects more than 6 percent of women in the U.S… and the main cause, is smoking. Michelle Larson is one of the Respirational Therapists at Mercy Cadillac-- helping patients in the pulmonary rehab program-- which is less than a year old. Twice a week, for four months, Jackie came to mercy for exercise and education. And Jackie was a prize student, graduating just last week and doubling how far she could walk, before she lost her breath. Experts believe the large increase of COPD in women is because smoking became more acceptable for them in the 70's and 80's, and symptoms take that long to show up.