Medical research

Is elevated level of lung protein an early predictor for COPD?

Airway mucus consists of various proteins such as long mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B, both of which contribute greatly to the proper gel-like consistency of this most essential bodily fluid. UNC School of Medicine researchers led ...

Medical research

Researchers create cellular blueprint of healthy lungs

The primary function of the lung is to facilitate transfer of oxygen to the blood stream. Crucial to this lifegiving task are endothelial cells, which line blood vessels permeating the lung and through which gas exchange ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19 symptom exacerbation leading cause of reencounters

(HealthDay)—COVID-19 symptom exacerbation is the leading cause of early acute-care hospital reencounters (ACHEs) after COVID-19 hospitalization, according to a study published online May 21 in GeroScience.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A novel defense mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 discovered

Scientists from Hokkaido University have discovered a novel defensive response to SARS-CoV-2 that involves the viral pattern recognition receptor RIG-I. Upregulating expression of this protein could strengthen the immune ...

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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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