Statistics can be boring, not only to collect, but to read about. However, keeping track of trends is important to know if we are making an impact with anything we are doing to improve the condition of the population. I am going to give you some facts below, and I apologize for the dry and sterile nature of the information, but I ask you to consider the overall importance this information represents. The death rate associated with COPD has declined by more than 20% in men over the last decade, but has remained relatively stable for women.
The death rate declined 16% among women ages 65 to 84 but increased 24.4% in women ages 45-64. The situation in the African-American population seems to follow the same trend. Deaths related to COPD continued to rise in black women, but not in black men. During the period from 2000 to 2014 the death rates for black men declined 24.4% while the death rate for black women increased by 4.2%. About 15 million Americans have a diagnosis of COPD and many millions more have the disease and do not know it or have not been diagnosed. COPD is one of the most common comorbid conditions listed on hospital discharge summaries. It is also one of the most common causes of death or associated causes of death noted on death certificates. Declining COPD deaths rates in men is encouraging, but the death rate increases in women are worrisome.