Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
If You Have COPD, You’re At Risk For Sleep Apnea
People with COPD often experience nighttime awakenings due to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness. What they may not be aware of, however, is that they’re at increased risk for sleep apnea, a type of sleep interruption caused by periods when a sufferer stops breathing during sleep. These pauses (known as “apnea”) often last 10 seconds or longer. Apnea may or may not cause a sufferer to wake up enough to know that their sleep is being interrupted, but they are suffering sleep deprivation nevertheless.
It’s not clear why COPD patients have an increased risk for sleep apnea; but contributors may be overweight, nasal congestion, acid reflux, or use of high doses of inhaled corticosteroids.
Sleep Apnea’s Effects on COPD
The effects of sleep apnea can be many. First is sleepiness during the day, simply due to the loss of sleep the night before.
National Institutes of Health Launches COPD Action Plan
Sixteen million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD and it’s believed that millions more have the disease without realizing it. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), working in collaboration with stakeholders from across the COPD community, released a COPD National Action Plan. The purpose is to provide a unified framework to guide medical care providers and others involved in dealing with the disease. The overall goal is to reduce the burden of COPD for sufferers and care providers alike.
Elements of the NIH COPD Action Plan
The Action Plan addresses the needs of both patients and the general public, lays out guidelines for health care practice and delivery, and examines research potential and policy implications.
The Roxlyn “Lyn” Cole Story
PERF board member and Executive Vice President Mary Burns, RN, BS, recently shared the story of Roxlyn “Lyn” Cole, a long-time COPD patient who’s an inspiration to us all. Lyn was featured in the Denver Post for her participation in the American Lung Association’s “Fight For Air” climb. Lyn climbed more than 1,000 steps and placed third in her age group. For 14 years, Lyn has been on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it certainly has not tied her down. In the years since being diagnosed with COPD and starting on supplemental oxygen, Lyn has walked ten half marathons, climbed Mt. Evans, finished the Boulder Bolder, and participated in several 5K’s. She even goes swimming with oxygen.
Supplemental Oxygen Is a Lifeline, Not a Leash
Says Lyn, “No one should give up on a disease. Use oxygen! The tubing is a lifeline, not a leash.”
Why Exercise Increases Your Fitness Level [Video]
PERF board member Dr. Harry Rossiter was interviewed recently by the American Health Journal about his research at LA BioMed on exercise physiology. Dr. Rossiter is studying how the energy powerhouses of the muscle, the mitochondria, relate to physical exercise and to quality of health.
Mitochondria’s Role In Fitness
The three pillars of health, he says, are nutrition, sleep, and physical activity. But what is it about physical activity, he asks, that allows us to have better health? Mitochondria, little organelles inside the cells of your muscles, may help provide the answer. Your body is designed to feed fuel and oxygen to your mitochondria, which then deliver energy to the cells of your muscles. People who are very fit have a lot of mitochondria in their muscles, and therefore their muscles, when supplied well with fuel and oxygen and energy, work efficiently.
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