The American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) announced the establishment of a set of unique, web-based guidelines to help physicians throughout the world treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The announcement came at the 2004 ATS International Conference in Orlando, Florida.
COPD usually involves severe emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which severely affect the alveoli of the lungs, leading to illness and death. Smoking is a leading cause of the disease. This illness is the fourth leading cause of mortality in the United States. In 2001, over 12 million Americans carried the diagnosis. In 2000, over 120,000 U.S. citizens died from COPD; in addition, for the first time, more women than men were victims.
The guidelines are fully searchable on the web and offer healthcare professionals, as well as patients, a unique, user-friendly and authorative source for information. The web address for the new site is http://www.thoracic.org/COPD
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