What's killing the region? Gasping for air
At its worst, it's like plugging your nose and sucking air through a narrow cocktail straw.
"It's a suffocating thing," said Linda Gatto, a Munster-based nurse practitioner who works with lung patients, many who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. "Sit in one of our waiting rooms, and you'll see all these people on oxygen tanks.
"To die this way is terrible."
Noncancerous lung ailments are the third leading cause of death in the region, having claimed 7,014 lives throughout Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties between 1999 and 2010, a Times analysis of government data shows. Read more.