Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Emphysema research narrows in on FCHSD1 protein

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes illness and death worldwide. It is characterized by destruction of the walls of tiny air sacs in the lungs—known as emphysema—and a decline in lung function. Little ...

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 ...

Medical research

Amoeba biology reveals potential treatment target for lung disease

In a series of experiments that began with amoebas—single-celled organisms that extend podlike appendages to move around—Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have identified a genetic pathway that could be activated ...

Cardiology

Heart failure cases soar globally

The number of patients with heart failure worldwide nearly doubled from 33.5 million in 1990 to 64.3 million in 2017. That's the finding of a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal ...

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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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