Blue Promise: Slowing the Spread of COPD in Texas


[Music] DAN: COPD or chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease is on the rise
here in North Texas Hello I’m
Dr. Dan McCoy and I’m here with
Dr. Esteban Lopez Today to talk about
this dangerous disease So what
is COPD? ESTEBAN: COPD as
you mentioned chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease It’s a disease that
changes the architecture of your lungs
preventing you from being able to
get the air out DAN: Okay so is
this like asthma? Are you born
with it? ESTEBAN: No and a
lot of people aren’t necessarily
born with asthma it’s very different
from asthma both diseases
change the structure of your lungs
but COPD is really an end-stage
where you can’t reverse that
where by asthma you can reverse
those changes DAN: So tell me a
little bit about the typical patient
that has COPD ESTEBAN: You know
variety Of different Folks can
have COPD so affects
in air quality some genetic
factors some
work exposure but the number
one cause of COPD not just in Texas
but across the United States
is tobacco use DAN: Or smoking ESTEBAN: Absolutely DAN: So tell
me if is this typically how a
smoker would present
with COPD? What do they
Experience When they
have that? ESTEBAN: Oftentimes
they will experience shortness of breath
the inability to be able to exhale
properly they can feel
air hungry meaning to get
anxious because they feel they’re not
getting enough air but there are ways
to be able to prevent that so COPD
for most patients is fully
preventable DAN: So it
sounds like it’s a pretty
significant impact in their
quality of life ESTEBAN: Absolutely DAN: Okay so how
do you prevent it? ESTEBAN: Well if
you’re a smoker stopping smoking
avoiding exposure to secondhand
smoke and you can’t necessarily address
the air quality issues in our cities as
an individual but working with
your community to be able
to do that DAN: Okay so
you started off and you said there’s
something about it being not reversible
but does that mean if someone quit
smoking there’s not immediate benefits
from that STEBAN: There is an
immediate benefit You can avoid the
progression of the Disease you might
Not be able to change the damage
that’s already happened to your lungs
but you can avoid further progression
of that disease because it is
a something that can be fatal
and oftentimes you’ll see folks
with oxygen they’ll need inhalers
and steroids and they’re
higher risk for lung
infections DAN: Okay so we’re
doing some pretty interesting work
around COPD here at Blue Cross and
with our communities tell me a little
bit about that ESTESBAN: Absolutely so at Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Texas as the chief
medical officer I’ve taken a look
at the entire state and looked at COPD
holistically and really the northern
part of the state here in Dallas where
we are and parts of northeast Texas
are highly affected by COPD so we’re
going to have a campaign moving
forward working with local community
partners to focus on tobacco
cessation and focus on the
prevention of COPD DAN: Okay so it
sounds like that Blue Cross is
really investing in public
health why is that
importan? ESTBAN: Well we’re the largest insurance
company in the state of Texas
and we’re invested in our
communities and making sure
that we’re moving the needle in
public health so it’s a benefit
for our communities and it’s more
important to benefit for our
members DAN: Dr. Lopez
thanks for being here ESGEBAN: Thank you DAN: Thanks for
Joining us for this episode of
Blue Promise [Music]