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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD for short, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Millions of people have been diagnosed with COPD, and even more may have it and have not yet been diagnosed. It affects both men and women, and occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults.
COPD is a major cause of disability in its most severe stages, but it typically develops slowly over time. Symptoms, which include a chronic cough, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath with activity, may be mild at first, but worsen as airways become more and more damaged. Eventually, symptoms begin to interfere with the activities of daily living, such as walking, cooking and even personal care.
COPD is not contagious, but there is no cure. Lung damage cannot be reversed, even with treatment, but the progression of the disease can be slowed with the proper care and lifestyle changes. This will allow you to feel better and stay more active.
New scientific studies are released daily, often reporting a grim prognosis for our future health. It's enough to make you feel hopeless about your own health as well as the health of everyone around you. There is no denying that obesity is a growing problem in the United States and around the world. The vast body of research on this topic allows us to make informed decisions and lifestyle changes; however, it is important to know that all research has limitations and the results are simply a best guess. A recent study that found people who have overweight friends are more likely to become overweight has been widely covered in the press. This particular study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine , found that if someone became obese their friends were 57 percent more likely to become obese, that's more than twice as likely. When not carefully considered, these findings can be quite disheartening. The very people you consider to be your support system...
Is Obesity Contagious?
Before you grab me by my shoulders and begin shaking me hard while shouting in my face “what kind of question is that?” hear me out. I am not referring to the generic definition of contagious and suggesting that if you drink from the same glass as an obese person that you will begin to gain weight. Nor am I suggesting that a preventive inoculation can be administered at some point of the year that might be referred to as “obese season.” I am not saying that at all, so please, take your hands off my shoulders. Findings published in the 2007 New England Journal of Medicine cite the obesity contagion as a social experience. Not bacterial or viral, but something shared through interpersonal relationships. The Obesity We Share Social contagion occurs when people follow the example of friends or family and gain and lose weight along with them. Statistics showed that the chances of a person becoming obese increased by 57% if they had a frien...
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