COPD

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease refers to a condition of the lung characterized by shortness of breath, which is not fully reversible, and includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

How common is COPD?

Approximately 10 million US adults have clinically diagnosed COPD. It is the sixth leading cause of death worldwide and is expected to rise to the third leading cause of death by 2020.

How is the diagnosis of COPD determined?

Diagnosis is made by appropriate symptoms such as shortness of breath and cough along with a pulmonary function test revealing a decrease in expiratory airflow. Unlike asthma, this airflow limitation is not reversible.

How is COPD treated?

Smoking cessation is the single most important intervention. Inhaled bronchodilators provide symptomatic relief and inhaled corticosteroids can prevent exacerbations.