October 25, 2011


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in a number of complications, including an increased risk for heart failure. The Lungs for Life: COPD Support Group at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) will host a meeting titled “COPD and Heart Failure” on Wednesday, November 2, in the medical center’s Private Dining Room One at 2 p.m. The group, which meets monthly at MRMC, encourages the public to attend this free program.

Kyle Fortman, a physician assistant associated with Vanderbilt Heart-Columbia, will discuss the relationship between COPD and heart failure. “COPD can have serious effects on heart health and heart failure is one of the potential results,” said Fortman. “When heart failure does occur in a patient with COPD, it often does so in a manner that is not considered to be typical.”

At the upcoming meeting, Fortman will explain the different types of heart failure and will discuss the ways that COPD patients can be affected.

The term COPD refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it increasingly difficult to breathe. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two main conditions associated with COPD, which is a leading cause of death. Symptoms of COPD do not usually appear until significant lung damage has already occurred. Because the damage is not reversible, treatment plans typically focus on controlling symptoms and minimizing further damage.

Thegoal of Lungs for Life is to provide education and awareness about COPD in order to promote the self-care and management of the condition. The public is invited to attend the upcoming meeting. For more information, call 931.380.4094.