Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Nanoparticles wiggling through mucus may predict severe COPD

In a proof-of-concept experiment, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have successfully used microscopic man-made particles to predict the severity of patients' chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New CT scan analysis predicts respiratory illness and death in COPD

CT scans of the lungs of smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—when analyzed by a mathematical function called airway fractal dimension—can estimate increased risk of death for a group of people who are not ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Geographic patterns of COPD similar for smokers, nonsmokers

(HealthDay)—Geographic patterns of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence are similar among current smokers, former smokers, and adults who have never smoked, according to research published in the June ...

Surgery

Chest cavity fire during emergency cardiac surgery

At this year's Euroanaesthesia Congress (the annual meeting of the European Society of Anaesthesiology) in Vienna, Austria (1-3 June), doctors present the unique case of a man who suffered a flash fire in his chest cavity ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Steroids can reduce lung cancer risk in COPD patients

For many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, a steroid inhaler is a daily necessity to keep their airways open and help them to breathe. Now, a new UBC analysis shows that these medicated devices may ...

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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.

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