Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New CT scan analysis predicts respiratory illness and death in COPD

CT scans of the lungs of smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—when analyzed by a mathematical function called airway fractal dimension—can estimate increased risk of death for a group of people who are not ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Adding clinical variables improves accuracy of lung allocation score

Implemented back in 2005, the lung allocation score is used to prioritize patients awaiting lung transplants in the United States. Sicker transplant candidates have a higher calculated score and are placed at the top of the ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Study supports optimal threshold for diagnosing COPD

A new study provides evidence to support a simple measurement for diagnosing clinically significant airflow obstruction, the key characteristic of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fourth leading cause of ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Geographic patterns of COPD similar for smokers, nonsmokers

(HealthDay)—Geographic patterns of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence are similar among current smokers, former smokers, and adults who have never smoked, according to research published in the June ...

Health

New data shows it's tough to have lung disease

People with asthma have the lowest overall health literacy according to a first-of-its-kind national health survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The survey uses a survey tool developed by Swinburne's ...

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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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