I am pleased that I can make this month's contribution to Second Wind and its new sponsor, the "Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation". For many practical reasons, it has become appropriate for the Foundation to take over the production and distribution of this important publication. PERF is now recognized as an international organization dedicated to advancing the education, treatment, and research in chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD) and related disorders. As readers of my news and informational letters know, I have been writing a "monthly column" for Second Wind for nearly ten years, beginning January 1, 1986.
The new management of Second Wind promises to provide the reader even greater breath (sic) and depth than ever before. Initially, we will use a similar format as before because we believe that it has been effective. But we will have the opportunity of flexibility and can add features and emphasis whenever appropriate. I pledge to continue to write my monthly column as long as possible.
There are many new fascinating developments in the field of COPD today. We now know beyond question that early identification and intervention, in part through smoking cessation and the judicious use of medications, can alter the course of disease and reduce both the morbidity and mortality of COPD. Yet COPD has now risen from the fifth to the fourth most common cause of death in the United States today. We also know that the finding of airflow abnormalities in people without symptoms, can identify patients at risk, not only of COPD, but lung cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Thus all primary care physicians need to measure spirometry as part of the data base they develop on all their healthy patients, particularly when patients smoke or if there is a family history of COPD or lung cancer. The prevention of disease and the promotion of health should be goals of medicine for the future.
As past President of the Foundation and still an active Board member, I know that Second Wind will continue to reach our ever expanding readership. Of course, we will need continued support from donors and industry and possibly subscriptions in order to keep our publication in robust health. As always, we are grateful for your interest and support.
I will be in touch next month. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.
Thomas Petty, MD