Why create a Lung Health Initiative at the University of Louisville? There are many reasons why such a program is needed on a local, regional, and national level.

The Burden of Respiratory Disease

  • 14,000 new cases of tuberculosis each year (8.8 million new cases worldwide).
  • Over 24,000 infants affected with Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
  • Over 200,000 Americans develop Acute Lung Injury each year.
  • 1,000 people received a lung transplant in 2005.


The Cost of Respiratory Disease

  • COPD costs of approximately $42 billion in 2005.
  • Annual direct healthcare cost of asthma is $15 billion.
  • Long term oxygen therapy – a billion dollar industry.


Kentucky is near or at the top of the list of states regarding poor tobacco legislation, air pollution, and the prevalence of lung cancer and other respiratory disorders. However, there are no comprehensive efforts to improve this problem. This initiative will focus attention on respiratory disorders, something that is critical for this state and region.