The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute yesterday released a national plan for addressing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the third leading cause of death in the United States. Developed at the request of Congress and with input from the COPD community, the plan focuses on empowering patients, families and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of the disease; equipping health care professionals to provide comprehensive care to people with COPD; enhancing public health data; increasing COPD research; and translating policy and other recommendations into research and actions. The NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health.