On World COPD Day, Patients are Urged to Take Extra Care Ahead of This Winter to Prevent a COPD Exacerbation or ‘Lung Attack’

By Nycomed A Takeda Company, PRNE
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ZURICH, November 16, 2011 -


  • Updated international treatment guidelines confirm experts’ views that prevention of COPD exacerbations should be of equal importance to relieving daily symptoms

  • New data confirms COPD patients are at increased risk during winter, experiencing an increase in exacerbations, increasing the risk of long-term damage and more rapid disease progression
  • Patients should focus on prevention of exacerbations during the winter months, when they are at greatest risk, to ensure they reduce faster progression of the disease and ultimately, mortality

International treatment guidelines - from the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) - have advised that prevention of exacerbations should be a cornerstone of COPD management, placing equal emphasis on the management of future risk as it does on treatment of COPD symptoms.[1] This is also confirmed in the latest data on the impact of season on the frequency of COPD exacerbations, showing an almost two-fold increase in the winter months. This is contributing to the increased morbidity seen during the festive season.[2,3,4]

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Today, on World COPD Day 2011, patients with the debilitating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are being urged to prepare themselves from an increased risk of a lung attack, or ‘exacerbation’, this winter.

Professor Wisia Wedzicha, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, UK, comments, “The treatment paradigm in COPD is changing, reflecting our increased knowledge of the significant long-term damage that these exacerbations - or ‘lung attacks’ - may have on patients, increasing the risk of faster progression of the disease and, ultimately, mortality. It is imperative that patients understand how to protect themselves from the increased risk of an exacerbation, particularly as we are heading into winter, and to discuss with their physician the options available to them to help prevent and reduce their exacerbations.”[5]

‘Exacerbations’, also described as ‘lung attacks’, are episodes where patients experience an acute episode of worsening symptoms. Frequent exacerbations can negatively impact on disease progression. There is evidence to show patients that have been admitted to hospital with a COPD exacerbation are at a greater risk of dying within a year than patients that have been admitted to hospital with a heart attack.[6] Currently, exacerbations are largely under reported and patients at risk of frequent exacerbations need to be identified so that treatment measures can be implemented early.

Anders Ullman, Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Takeda, comments, “As a company, we are committed to the development of new options for patients with COPD to help reduce their exacerbations. World COPD Day marks the beginning of winter, a season which can be of great risk to patients; when they are at an increased risk of infection and exacerbations can be at their worst. To support patients, Takeda have developed some simple guidance for people with COPD to ensure they are able to focus on preventing possible exacerbations and protect themselves this winter. It is also very important that patients speak to their doctor about the best approaches to prevent future exacerbations.”

Information on Takeda’s activities on World COPD Day can also be accessed via the Takeda Online Newsroom at www.takedarespiratorynewsroom.com.

About World COPD Day

World COPD Day is an annual awareness-raising event organized and sponsored by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). For more information please visit www.goldcopd.org/wcd-home.html

About COPD

COPD remains a significant area of unmet medical need. It is a progressive and irreversible lung disease resulting in difficulty in breathing. The disease is characterised by severe episodes of worsening, called exacerbations or lung attacks - often worse in the winter months. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, 80 million people have moderate to severe COPD worldwide. More than 3 million people died of COPD in 2005, which corresponds to 5% of all deaths globally. The WHO predicts that total deaths from COPD could increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years unless urgent action is taken to reduce the underlying risk factors, especially smoking. (see www.who.int/respiratory/copd/burden/en/index.html)

About Nycomed: a Takeda Company

Nycomed is a Takeda company since end of September 2011. Takeda is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. The combined company has an active commercial presence in the therapeutic areas of metabolic diseases, gastroenterology, oncology, cardiovascular health, CNS diseases, inflammatory and immune disorders, respiratory diseases and pain management.

Takeda’s traditional strengths in North America, Japan, and the rest of Asia, are now complemented by Nycomed’s position in Europe and the high growth emerging markets. The combined company has a presence in more than 70 countries worldwide, and ranked 12th by global Rx sales, 14th in the BRIC countries and 18th in Europe.

About Takeda

As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for patients worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website, www.takeda.com.

[1.] Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. GOLD Guidelines 2011. (Revised 2011) November 6, 2011.

[2.] Glaab T, et al. Seasonal Distribution Of Exacerbations In The Poet-COPD; Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 183;2011:A3726

[3.] Jenkins C.R. et al. Seasonality and determinants of moderate and severe COPD exacerbations in the TORCH study. ERJ Express. Published on July 7, 2011 as doi: 10.1183/09031936.00194610

[4.] Donaldson GC, et al. Influence of season on exacerbation characteristics in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Chest; Prepublished online July 28, 2011

[5.] www.takedarespiratorynewsroom.com Accessed October 2011

[6.] Halpin D. Mortality in COPD: Inevitable or Preventable? Insights from the Cardiovascular Arena. J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2008; 5(3): 187-200


For further information
Stefanie de Borba, phone: +44(0)78-7280-86-63

Nycomed : a Takeda Company
General phone: +41-44-555-15-10
Tobias Cottmann, phone: +41-44-555-15-01

Video: multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/prne/nycomedtakeda/52782/ 


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