Respiratory Disease is the term for diseases of the respiratory system. These include diseases of the lung, pleural cavity, bronchial tubes, trachea, upper respiratory tract and of the nerves and muscles of breathing. Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting such as the common cold to life-threatening such as bacterial pneumonia or pulmonary embolism. They are a common and important cause of illness and death. In the US, people suffer 1 billion colds per year. One in seven people in the UK are affected by some form of chronic lung disease, most commonly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Respiratory disease is responsible for over 10% of hospitalizations and over 16% of deaths in Canada. The study of respiratory disease is known as pulmonology. A doctor who specializes in respiratory disease is known as a pulmonologist, a chest medicine specialist, a respiratory medicine specialist, a respirologist or a thoracic medicine specialist.
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