Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Researchers map your route from illness to illness

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark have followed six million Danes for 15 years through patient and disease registers. Studies in the complex data landscape now enable researchers ...

Jun 24, 2014
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COPD may damage aging brain

(HealthDay)—Seniors with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of developing mental decline, especially thinking problems without apparent memory loss, a new study suggests.

Mar 18, 2014
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Third-hand smoke shown to cause health problems

Do not smoke and do not allow yourself to be exposed to smoke because second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as first-hand smoke, says a scientist at the University of California, Riverside ...

Jan 30, 2014
popularity 4 / 5 (7) | comments 10 | with audio podcast

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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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