Progress is being made in the fight to prevent COPD in the United States, according to an open access report online in CHEST.

New analysis from the CDC reports declines in the age-adjusted prevalence, death rate in men, and hospitalizations in COPD since 1999, in a report called “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Surveillance—United States, 1999-2011.”

According to the report, which will be in the journal’s print edition in July, there were no significant overall trends noted for physician office visits and emergency room visits; however, the age-adjusted hospital discharge rate for COPD declined significantly. Death rates increased among adults aged 45-54 years and among American Indian/Alaska Natives, but declined among those aged 55-64 years and 65-74 years, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and men.

“With 39% of surveyed COPD patients reporting they continue to smoke, there is an opportunity for physicians to counsel patients and refer them to smoking cessation programs,” said Richard S. Irwin, MD, Master FCCP, editor-in-chief, CHEST. “Given the data contained in the CDC report, our hope is that we will see mortality rates decline in future years as we continue to see improved management of patients with COPD and their smoking habits.”