Nationwide Climate Change Initiative Targets COPD

Today, is Earth Day.  A statement released by the White House outlines an initiative to combat the health-related effects of climate change, with an emphasis on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is releasing an Adaptation in Action Report highlighting successful actions state and local leaders are taking to reduce the health impacts of climate change in New York City (NYC), San Francisco, ME, MN, AZ, MI, CA and NY. The CDC is also releasing a Health Care Facilities Toolkit illustrating best practices for promoting resilient health care infrastructure,” the Office of the Press Secretary announced.

In their statement, the White House claimed climate change is not only to blame for extreme weather but also for affecting the quality of life of Americans with pulmonary conditions. Furthermore, they highlighted the poor, children, elderly, and sick as other groups that are especially vulnerable to climate change’s effects.

Extending the Climate Data Initiative — a measure launched in March 2014 which made data on climate change available to prepare communities and businesses — the White House announced they are initiating the “Health Resilience” portion of the plan which would make more than 150 meta-tagged health-related datasets public.

“The new theme aims to empower America’s people, communities, and health sector to more effectively plan, prepare, and strengthen their resilience to the health-impacts of climate change,” the White House announced.
As a part of the Initiative, Propeller Health reported they are building an Asthma Risk Map that will allow Americans to gauge their COPD and asthma exacerbations in relation to the weather. The digital respiratory health company claimed this program will gather data through the use of “sensors [which] collect crowd-sourced data on the time and location of inhaled medication use. Using predictive spatial modeling techniques and open government data resources, Propeller will identify areas in US cities where the impacts of climate change will be felt most acutely by people with chronic respiratory disease over the next 10 to 100 years and beyond.”

Moreover, Propeller Health announced they will also include modifiable factors such as air pollution and transportation to help ascertain which interventions would effectively mitigate COPD- and asthma-related symptoms.

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