How Does Your State Stack Up When it Comes to COPD?
By Jennifer Nelson
Did you know the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers fact sheets on COPD for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico?
Each fact sheet includes a table listing the reported prevalence of COPD among adults in the state or territory by age, race/ethnicity, sex, employment status, education level, household income, marital status, smoking status and asthma history. The fact sheets are available via an interactive map on the CDC site.
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, it may be helpful to know the air pollution rates in your state, not to mention carbon monoxide readings, tobacco use and more.
Some interesting facts about COPD by state, according to the CDC:
- About 6.3 percent of the U.S. population suffers from COPD.
- Forty-four percent of Oklahoma COPD sufferers haven’t exercised in a month.
- Florida residents with COPD reported cost was an obstacle to health care, compared to those without the disease.
- Texas residents with COPD were more likely to report 14 or more mental health days in the past month, compared to those without the disease.
- The highest percentage of COPD sufferers live in Kentucky (9.8 percent).
- The lowest percentage of COPD sufferers live in Utah (4 percent).
- States with the highest smoking rates have the highest COPD rates. These “tobacco belt" states also have the lowest income levels.
This kind of state-level advocacy can help ease some of the suffering from COPD. You don’t have to move away from your state; however, knowing your risks from irritants, pollution and occupational exposures to chemicals, dust and fumes can be helpful.
Here, the 10 states/territories with the lowest rates of the disease, according to the CDC:
- Puerto Rico (3.1 percent of the population has COPD)
- Utah (4.0 percent of the population has COPD)
- (Tie) Minnesota/ Washington (4.1 percent of the population has COPD)
- Hawaii (4.4 percent of the population has COPD)
- (Tie) California/ Colorado/ District of Columbia (4.6 percent of the population has COPD)
- North Dakota (4.7 percent of the population has COPD)
- Nebraska (4.9 percent of the population has COPD)