National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Wellness Day on Wednesday, April 7th

Over 16 million people in the US have COPD1 and up to 60% of COPD cases go undiagnosed. According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death globally. COPD continues to be a leading cause of disabling symptoms and suffering. Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is the standard of care for persons with COPD and is associated with improved physical function, symptoms, mood and quality of life. Although PR is well established as a highly effective treatment for COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases,4,5 in the United States only 3–4% of Medicare beneficiaries with COPD receive PR.6 Similarly low estimates exist for the rest of the world.

A recent study by Peter Lindenauer and colleagues found that, in persons hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of COPD, PR within 3 months of discharge vs. later or no PR, was associated with a highly significant lower risk of mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio, 0.63; i.e., a 37% lower risk of death over the year following discharge).8 The study utilized claims data of 197,376 Medicare beneficiaries discharged after hospitalization for COPD.8 The findings support PR as a high priority following hospitalization for COPD.

Patients suffering from COPD should know that PR not only has potential for helping them feel better and being more independent, but also to live longer. We are asking for your support in communicating these important findings of improved survival after PR to providers and patients. Thank you in advance for your help and collaboration.

“As an Alpha and double-lung transplant recipient, I am grateful for the pulmonary rehabilitation programs I have joined over the past 25 years. Both before and after transplantation, the exercises and classroom education presented have improved my quality of life and helped me feel better. The benefits are immeasurable, being an important part of the management and health maintenance of those diagnosed with Alpha-1. Keeping your lungs strong and healthy is so important and will lengthen your active life,” said Fred Walsh.

Click here to view the Alpha-1 Foundation’s webinar on Pulmonary Rehab: Excercises You Can Do At Home.

Thank you in advance for your help and collaboration:

Allergy & Asthma Network

Alpha 1 Foundation

American Association for Cardiovascular Pulmonary Rehabilitation

American Association for Respiratory Care American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American Lung Association

American Thoracic Society

CHEST/American College of Chest Physicians

COPD Foundation

Dorney-Koppel Foundation

LAM Foundation

Lung Transplant Foundation

phaware Global

Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Respiratory Compromise Institute

Respiratory Health Association


US COPD Coalition