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International Lung Health Organizations Join to Raise Awareness for Bronchiectasis

June 29, 2023 – In support of the second annual World Bronchiectasis Day, July 1, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, of which the American Thoracic Society is a founding member, is joining the COPD Foundation and several global organizations to raise global awareness, share knowledge, and discuss ways to reduce the burden of bronchiectasis for patients and their families worldwide.

A lesser-known chronic lung disease, bronchiectasis affects hundreds of thousands of children and adults worldwide. Individuals living with bronchiectasis experience recurring lung infections due to enlarged and scarred airways which make it difficult to clear mucus properly. Symptoms include frequent coughing (often with thick, discolored mucus), sputum production, breathlessness, repeat chest infections, increased tiredness, unexplained fever, chills, sweats and weight loss, and chest pain.[1]

Although there is currently no cure, detecting and treating bronchiectasis early can improve quality of life and long-term health.

"World Bronchiectasis Day was started with the intention of raising the profile of bronchiectasis to aid clinicians and patients in more readily recognizing its signs and symptoms,” said Jean Wright, MD, MBA, CEO of the COPD Foundation and World Bronchiectasis Day founding partner. “I am encouraged by the success of the first global educational campaign, but there is more to be done. Often misdiagnosed as pneumonia, bronchiectasis worsens over time. An accurate diagnosis is needed to begin treatments to effectively manage the disease.”

The inaugural World Bronchiectasis Day, July 1, 2022, raised awareness for bronchiectasis by sharing resources including:

“The American Thoracic Society is proud to support the second annual World Bronchiectasis Day,” said ATS President M. Patricia Rivera, MD, ATSF. “Campaigns such as this one incite a global conversation and raise recognition. Through increased awareness, we can do our part to support those living with bronchiectasis and their families worldwide.”

The 6th annual World Bronchiectasis & NTM Conference will take place in New York City on July 18-20. This CME-accredited in-person and livestreaming course will feature the most up-to-date education in bronchiectasis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections including original research presentations and more. Learn more and register to attend the conference.