Information about the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has just been added to NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site designed especially for seniors. Consumers can log onto www.nihseniorhealth.gov  to learn more about this slowly progressing lung disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, damages the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
"Early detection and appropriate treatment of COPD can slow the progression of the disease and help improve quality of life and the way people live and work," says Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which developed the content for the COPD topic on the NIHSeniorHealth Web site. "There are many different types of treatment that can help people with chronic lung disease. The new COPD topic on NIHSeniorHealth is an excellent source of information that will benefit older adults at risk."
One of the fastest growing age groups using the Internet, older Americans increasingly turn to the World Wide Web for health information. In fact, 66 percent of "wired" seniors surf for health and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth is a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The site is based on the latest research on cognition and aging. It features short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a variety of formats, including various large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos, and even an audio version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include heart failure, falls and fractures, and clinical trials. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM's premier, more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the Federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences, creates and sponsors Web-based health information resources for the public and professionals. The NHLBI supports research in diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, and blood, and sleep disorders. All three are components of the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.