Health

Air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems

As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest U.S. study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Treat vitamin D deficiency to prevent deadly lung attacks

Vitamin D supplements have been found to reduce the risk of potentially fatal lung attacks in some chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Health

Childhood body composition may influence future lung health

How well people breathe as adults may depend on the amount of fat mass and lean muscle mass they have as children, according to a new study led by scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Flu shot crucial for those with COPD

(HealthDay)—If you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a flu shot can be a lifesaver. But many of the millions with the lung condition don't get it, researchers report.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers make important breakthrough in pulmonary fibrosis

A team of investigators led by members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty at CU Anschutz Medical Campus has identified a connection between mucus in the small airways and pulmonary fibrosis.

Health

Mortality rates rising for Gens X and Y too

Declining life expectancies in the U.S. include Gen X and Y Americans, in addition to the older Baby Boomers. But the causes of premature mortality vary by race, gender and ethnicity, according to a new study from Duke University.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Cognitive therapy helps reduce anxiety in COPD patients

(HealthDay)—Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered by respiratory nurses is associated with reduced anxiety symptoms and is cost-effective for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according ...

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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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