December 28, 2012

2012 July 27 – Emphysema Patient Runs City 2 Surf

Roy Martin will be competing in the Sun-Herald City 2 Surf on Sunday, August 12 although he is no ordinary competitor – Roy has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which is more commonly known as chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

Roy Martin is in his mid-50s and is an active patient who enjoys running. Roy lives in Plumpton and competed in the inaugural City 2 Surf fun run back in the 1971 at the age of only 14 and has competed on many occasions since then.

Roy and his wife Debbie will be running again this year in the Australian Lung Foundation singlets, while their children cheer them on from the sidelines. Roy knows the benefits of keeping active and is a keen advocate for raising awareness about COPD.

After ignoring his symptoms for a few years, Roy quit smoking in 2007 after being diagnosed with COPD. He had smoked for 40 years. Roy started smoking atage 11 while attending boarding school and maintained a 35 cigarette per day habit for many years. At the time of diagnosis, Roy loved to play softball although struggled to run between bases. Now through proper management of his condition, he can comfortably manage a 10km run.

What is COPD?
COPD is a lung disease that affects almost one in five Australians over 401. Alarmingly, half of those with moderate to severe COPD do not know they have it2. While there is no cure for COPD, there are things people can do to breathe easier, keep out of hospital and improve their quality of life. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a deadly long term disease of the lungs which causes shortness of breath3.

COPD is an umbrella term that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
There are four stages (I to IV) of COPD which rank the condition in terms of severity, with IV being the most severe.
COPD is characterised by:
– Shortness of breath on minimal exertion
– A repetitive cough with phlegm / mucus most days
– History of cigarette smoking

The Australian Lung Foundation estimates that approximately 2.1 million Australians have some form of COPD.1,4 This represents approximately one in five Australians over 40. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in Australia5.

For more information about COPD, please visit www.lungfoundation.com.au

ENDS
For media enquiries, contact Bridget Dixon on (07) 3251 3644 orbridget@lungfoundation.com.au

REFERENCES
1. Access Economics. Economic impact of COPD and cost effective solutions. 2008.
2. Buist AS, McBurnie MA, Vollmer WM et al. International variation in the prevalence of COPD (The BOLD Study): a population-based prevalence study. Lancet 1 September 2007; 370: 741-750
3. McKenzie DK, Frith PA, Burdon et al on behalf of The Australian Lung Foundation. The COPDX Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2008, found at www.copdx.org.au
4. Buist AS, McBurnie MA, Vollmer WM et al. International variation in the prevalence of COPD (The BOLD Study): a population-based prevalence study. Lancet 1 September 2007; 370: 741-750
5. AIHW. Australia’s Health 2010, found at http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442468376