COPD Check-In with Dr. MeiLan Han


The last episode of 2020 caps advances and ongoing research into the most burdensome chronic respiratory disease in the US.

Episode highlights

0:16 Intro
1:21 MeiLan Han, MD
2:17 Getting started in COPD
4:16 The unknown COPD cases
5:50 COPD phenotypes
8:54 What is pre-COPD?
12:57 Spirometry’s benefit
16:42 The perks of early diagnosis
20:52 Using low-dose CT scans
24:08 The most promising therapies
25:51 COPD’s economic effect
30:05 The ALA Lung Health Cohort Study
33:09 What COVID-19 has done
35:16 Outro

In a year that’s seen clinical research and discussion overwhelmingly pull toward the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s hard to put back into perspective the importance of other issues in respiratory medicine.

Pandemic or not, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains among the deadliest chronic diseases in the US—a condition which for years has been unmet by disease-modifying therapy or any preceding breakthroughs thereof.

But there have been wins—in this, the year of COVID-19, even—to account in the fight to mitigate COPD burden.

In this year’s final episode of Lungcast, host Al Rizzo, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, speaks with MeiLan Han, MD, professor of internal medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, director of the Michigan Airways Program, and ALA Scientific Advisory Committee member, on everything COPD.

From her own start in chronic respiratory disease research, to chronic tomography (CT) scan utility in disease phenotyping, to some of the agents that may prove to be the breakthrough class of COPD treatment, Han details decades of work which has reached this fascinating inflection point in COPD care.

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