Healthy Perspectives Hanover HealthCare Plus

Test Your Lungs - "Know Your Numbers"

…You May Just Breathe a Little Easier!

Did you know you could have a serious lung disease, yet have no symptoms such as shortness of breath?

In fact, having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can rob you of 20% to 40% of your lung function or breathing ability before it has even been diagnosed.

How does your lung function measure up? Spirometry, a simple breathing test, will give you the answers.

Several years ago, a national lung health study determined that smokers with mild, silent (without symptoms) COPD were at a greater risk of experiencing rapid lung function loss over a five-year period, compared to smokers who quit.

Because the risk of developing lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes is greater in those with abnormal breathing tests, it became apparent just how important it was to do regular spirometry testing on all smokers and ex-smokers.

Though mammograms for breast cancer detection and screening tests for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are now pretty much commonplace as important wellness and preventive health tools, spirometry has not been used to its full potential in identifying those at risk for lung disease.

Most people know their cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, but how many know their lung function numbers?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute wants to change this trend. Headed by a world-renowned pulmonologists, Dr. Thomas Petty, the NIH has created the National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP), with the slogan: "Test Your Lungs - Known Your Numbers."

The goal of the NLHEP is to educate the public and physicians about the importance of early detection of COPD, and to identify early COPD through the regular use of spirometry in all people at risk: including smokers, ex-smokers, those with chronic respiratory symptoms, and those exposed regularly to workplace irritants.

Another goal of the NLHEP will be educating people about the association of COPD with lung cancer, and how widespread lung cancer is.

Without this knowledge, individuals are reluctant to consider a breathing test, particularly when they have no shortness of breath, even though 20% to 40% of their lung function can be lost before they notice a problem. The sooner COPD is detected, the earlier treatment and maintenance measures can begin, which could offer a longer and better quality of life.

Michael Ader, M.D., a Hanover area lung specialist, can't say enough about the benefits of spirometry. "It's a simple tests that is easy to do, and it can identify those smokers or ex-smokers at greater risk of developing COPD and lung cancer."

A local group, the Coalition for Lung Health, was formed to help spread the word about "Test Your Lungs - Know Your Numbers" here at home in York and Adams counties. Members include: Michael Ader, M.D.; Sandy Lawrence, LPN; Mandi Smith, R.N.; Lisa Wright, R.N.; Ellie Slater, RRT; Vicki Shrader, RRT; Carol Freer, M.D.; Pat Lilly, Community & Network Relations of Hanover Hospital; and Dan Young, from the American Lung Association.

As the first grassroots community chapter of the NLHEP, our local group has received support and encouragement from the national office. Watch for newspaper advertisements, articles and community education programs concerning the early detection of COPD, the use of spirometry and to discover why you could have COPD and not know it.

For more information about spirometry testing, or about the National Lung Health Education Program, contact your physician, or the Hanover Wellness Connection, at (717) 633-2248.

Well Connected Hanover Hospital

HEALTH SCREENINGS

Health Tip -- Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) may be present even if your chest x-ray is normal and you have no shortness of breath.  A simple breathing test (spirometry) can detect early COPD.  If you are at risk, contact your physician. "Test Your Lung -- Know Your Numbers!"

For additional information about any of the programs or screenings listed, please call the Wellness Connection at (717) 633-2248 or 1-800-673-2426, extension 2248.

NLHEP Coalition for Lung Health flyer

Highpoints Plus

Chamber of Commerce Letter
                                                                                                           October 25, 1999

Thomas Petty, M.D.
1850 High Street
Denver, CO  80218

Dear Dr. Petty,

    Enclosed is some of the media material we have been able to create and distribute in our community in order to promote the goals of the National Lung Health Education Program.

    The poster is being sent out with the accompanying letter to all area businesses.  New posters are going to be sent out in the future (every several months) and these will have different educational messages.

    The brochure enclosed is a draft printing of our local design of the "20 questions pamphlet."  A dozen of these brochures plus the posters will be sent to all area Primary Care Physicians with a letter asking them to place them in their waiting rooms.  Brochures will also be available at Wellness Functions sponsored by the hospital plus any other health care facility we can get them to.

    Also enclosed is a copy of a "Calendar of Events" distributed throughout the hospital and all surrounding physicians.  Each month, there is a Health Tip about COPD and early detection.  This Health Tip is also put in the local newspaper's Wellness Program Monthly Calendar.  We have had articles in Wellness newsletters that are distributed to the community and I just gave a grand rounds on COPD where we discussed NLHEP and early detection of COPD through the use of spirometry.

    All in all, we are moving along pretty well.  Several physicians offices have already purchased spirometers and others are asking for information about purchases or about relearning to use spirometers they've had but never used.  We have gotten donations from pharmaceutical companies to pay for printing and postage.

Sincerely,
Michael H. Ader, M.D.

Michael (Mickey) Ader

Progress Letter
                                                                                                    October 8, 1999

Hanover Chamber of Commerce
146 Carlisle Street
Hanover, PA  17331

Dear Members of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce:

    The Hanover Area Coalition for Lung Health, with the support of Hanover Hospital, has        begun  a campaign to promote early detection of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.  This campaign is part of the National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP) which is similar to other national programs that promote cholesterol and hypertension education.

    Most people are not aware that chronic lung disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and most people do not know that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women.

    We are starting this campaign with posters that contain an educational message about lung disease plus the slogan, "Test Your Lungs - Know Your Numbers."  We are trying to get across the message that anyone who ever smoked should have a simple breathing test to detect silent lung disease like emphysema or COPD.

    We are asking all area businesses for their support.  Please consider placing these posters in areas visible to employees and/or the public.  If you would like more posters or a brochure that answers frequently asked questions about the National Lung Health Education Program, please let us know.  If you have any questions about the Hanover Area Coalition for Lung Health, contact me or the Hanover Wellness Connection at 717 633-2248.

Thanks for your attention,
 

Michael H. Ader, M.D.
Michael H. Ader, M.D.
Hanover Area Coalition for Lung Health

MHA/pc

Coalition for Lung Health Poster
Alternate messages include:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) increases your risk of lung cancer. Each year, more women die from lung cancer than from breast cancer.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death. If you ever smoked, you are at rask. Early COPD may have no symptoms but can be detected by a simple breathing test.