Medical research

Stem cells and their role in lung transplant rejection

A lung transplant can mean the difference between life and death for people with diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even severe COVID-19. Yet, recipients of donor lungs must ...

Immunology

T-cell responses in respiratory diseases

Respiratory illnesses are on the rise in an increasingly polluted world. Particularly, viral respiratory infections tend to aggravate previously existing respiratory illnesses, or cause life-long negative after-effects in ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Pregnancy complications higher in women with schizophrenia

(HealthDay)—Pregnant women with schizophrenia experience more pregnancy, delivery, and neonatal complications versus women without severe mental disorders, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in The Lancet Regional ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease brought on by tobacco

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a progressive group of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, that make it hard to breathe. Millions of people around the globe die each year because ...

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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