Cardiology

Only half of heart disease patients get a flu shot

People with heart disease are more likely to become seriously ill from the flu and other respiratory illnesses, including the coronavirus. Yet, new research finds that only half of Americans with a history of heart disease ...

Oncology & Cancer

Study finds disparities in colorectal cancer screenings

Patients with one or more health conditions are more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer than those without comorbidities, according to new research in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. However, patients with five ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms?

Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to remind people who is more at risk of serious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, which can vary widely. Some people have no symptoms at all, while others ...

Health

Exercise reduces risk of airway disease

Exercise appears to reduce the long-term risk of bronchiectasis, a potentially serious disease of the airways, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Quinn on Nutrition: Nutrition for lung disease

My sister started smoking in her early 20s. She thought it would help her lose weight. Knowingly or unknowingly, that decision opened the door for her lifelong battle with cigarette addiction. Years later, when she was diagnosed ...

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 ...

Medical research

Fungi are present in your lungs

The lungs were for a long time considered to be sterile in health, while in diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) failure in immune mechanisms were thought to allow microorganisms to proliferate and persist. ...

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of two 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. In contrast to asthma, the limitation of airflow is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time.

COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from smoking, which trigger an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung. The inflammatory response in the larger airways is known as chronic bronchitis, which is diagnosed clinically when people regularly cough up sputum. In the alveoli, the inflammatory response causes destruction of the tissues of the lung, a process known as emphysema. The natural course of COPD is characterized by occasional sudden worsenings of symptoms called acute exacerbations, most of which are caused by infections or air pollution.

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 requiring long-term oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.

Worldwide, COPD ranked sixth as the cause of death in 1990. It is projected to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020 due to an increase in smoking rates and demographic changes in many countries. COPD is the 4th 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.

COPD is also known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD), chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), chronic airflow limitation (CAL) and chronic obstructive respiratory disease.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA