Expanding Treatment Options: The Latest Developments in COPD - Episode 19

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Outcomes in COPD

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The MD Magazine Peer Exchange “Expanding Treatment Options: The Latest Developments in COPD Therapy” features a panel of physician experts discussing key topics in COPD therapy, including risk factors, personalized treatment, preventive measures, new combination therapies, and more.

This Peer Exchange is moderated by Peter Salgo, MD, professor of medicine and anesthesiology at Columbia University and an associate director of surgical intensive care at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

The panelists are:

  • Byron Thomashow, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, medical director at the Jo-Ann LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and chairman of the board of the COPD Foundation
  • Neil R. MacIntyre, MD, clinical chief of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Division, medical director of Respiratory Care Services, and professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine
  • Barry J. Make, MD, director of Pulmonary and Respiratory Care for National Jewish Health and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Nicola A. Hanania, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine and director of the Asthma and COPD Clinical Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine

Treating COPD is partially up to the patient; committing to a lifestyle change can really improve outcomes. It can be challenging for physicians to elicit a commitment from patients to quit smoking, follow through with pulmonary rehabilitation, or use their oxygen when needed, said Thomashow.

Most of the currently available medications have been shown to decrease hospitalization rates, but Thomashow stressed the importance of evaluating hospital readmission rates, which have become a critical issue due to penalties given to hospitals for these kinds of outcomes. Most readmissions are due to patients’ comorbid conditions, not to the COPD itself, due to innumerable variables.