Barbara Bush dies peacefully at her home in Texas at the age of 92. The news has been confirmed by Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the Bush family.
The former first lady had been in and out of the hospital multiple times in 2017 and most recently, she was back due to shortness of breath. She had been suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart.
On Tuesday, McGrath announced her demise.
"A former first lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018," read a statement from the office of Former President George H.W. Bush.
What Causes COPD And What Are The Symptoms
The primary sign of COPD is shortness of breath, the kind that makes it harder for patients to breathe. The disease has two types: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It may be classified as stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4.
The main cause of COPD is the long-term exposure to a substance that irritates and damages the lungs. Hence, COPD is mainly attributed to cigarette smoking and exposure to air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust.
At an early stage, COPD does not show symptoms or if it does, these are normally similar to a common cough caused by allergies. As the disease progresses, more severe symptoms become identifiable.
These symptoms include persistent coughing that produces mucus. A person may also experience shortness of breath even with a previously normal physical activity that he or she does, including going up and down the stairs. As days go on, there will also be prevalent wheezing in breathing and chest tightness that does not disappear.
What Is COPD Life Expectancy And How The Disease Could Be Prevented
While experts have yet to precisely estimate mortality of patients with COPD, patterns show that patients who smoked or previously smoked have a large reduction in their life expectancy.
A study published in the US National Library Of Medicine stated that at the age of 65, the reductions in life expectancy in males for stage 1, stage 2, and stages 3 or 4 in current smokers are 0.3 years, 2.2 years, and 5.8 years respectively. These are in addition to a reduction of 3.5 years because of smoking.
COPD patients who stopped smoking are found to have a reduction of 1.4 years and 5.6 years for stage 2 and stages 3 or 4 in their life expectancy. Those who never smoke but was afflicted with the disease are found to have reduced life expectancy of 0.7 and 1.3 years.
COPD may be prevented by making important lifestyle changes. The most advisable thing to do is to quit smoking.
For those who are already suffering the disease, a healthy diet and regular exercise are proven to help patients achieve a better quality of life. Exercises can be as simple as walking every day or taking Tai Chi and Yoga classes.
The Lung Institute also recommends seasoning food with herbs instead of salt because too much salt can worsen COPD.