Genetics

Researchers identify genes responsible for loss of lung function

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease caused by cigarette smoking that reduces lung function and causes difficulty breathing. It is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Current treatments for COPD ...

Cardiology

Only half of heart disease patients get a flu shot

People with heart disease are more likely to become seriously ill from the flu and other respiratory illnesses, including the coronavirus. Yet, new research finds that only half of Americans with a history of heart disease ...

Oncology & Cancer

Study finds disparities in colorectal cancer screenings

Patients with one or more health conditions are more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer than those without comorbidities, according to new research in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. However, patients with five ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms?

Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to remind people who is more at risk of serious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, which can vary widely. Some people have no symptoms at all, while others ...

Health

Exercise reduces risk of airway disease

Exercise appears to reduce the long-term risk of bronchiectasis, a potentially serious disease of the airways, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Quinn on Nutrition: Nutrition for lung disease

My sister started smoking in her early 20s. She thought it would help her lose weight. Knowingly or unknowingly, that decision opened the door for her lifelong battle with cigarette addiction. Years later, when she was diagnosed ...

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), also known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD), chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), chronic airflow limitation (CAL) and chronic obstructive respiratory disease (CORD), is the co-occurrence of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs, causing shortness of breath (dyspnea). In clinical practice, COPD is defined by its characteristically low airflow on lung function tests. In contrast to asthma, this limitation is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time. In England, an estimated 842,100 of 50 million people have a diagnosis of COPD.

COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung.

The diagnosis of COPD requires lung function tests. Important management strategies are smoking cessation, vaccinations, rehabilitation, and drug therapy (often using inhalers). Some patients go on to require long-term oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.

Worldwide, COPD ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in 1990. It is projected to be the fourth leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 due to an increase in smoking rates and demographic changes in many countries. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the economic burden of COPD in the U.S. in 2007 was $42.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.

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