Symptom: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a long-lasting obstruction of the airways that occurs with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and/or asthma. This obstruction of airflow may be progressive, worsening over time. The diseases that occur with COPD as described below. Chronic Bronchitis Chronic bronchitis is defined as a chronic (ongoing, long-term) cough not caused by another condition that produces sputum (mucus) for 3 or more months during each of the two consecutive years. This definition is mainly used for research purposes in helping to select similar patients for study of their underlying lung disease and possible treatment options. In chronic bronchitis, the mucous glands in the lungs become larger and more numerous. Irritation of the lining cells of the airways increases the number of gland forming cells. This inflammation thickens the walls of the airway tubes thus narrowing the lumen. Emphysema Emphysema is an abnormal, permanent enlargement of the air spaces (alveoli) located at the end of the breathing passages of the lungs (terminal bronchioles). Emphysema also destroys the walls of these air spaces and the attachments to airways. This allows for more deformation of the airways by increasing their ability to collapse. This collapse contributes to the inability of the lungs to empty air, hence resulting in air trapping. There are three types of emphysema:
  • centriacinar emphysema,
  • panacinar emphysema, and
  • distal acinar emphysema or paraseptal emphysema.
  • Asthma Asthma is a chronic lung disorder that has recurring problems of partial airway obstruction that is usually triggered by stimuli such as allergens or rapid changes in air temperature; patients may wheeze, have labored breathing, cough and feel as though their chest is constriction. When asthmatics are not having an attack their lung function is normal. When airway obstruction becomes fixed, asthma is then considered a form of COPD. COPD Statistics In the United States, approximately 14.2 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, 12.5 million people have chronic bronchitis, and 1.7 million people have emphysema. It is estimated that there may be an additional equal number of US citizens that have COPD, but who have not been diagnosed with the disorder. The number of people with COPD has increased by 41.5% since 1982.
  • An estimated 8% to 17% American men and 10% to 19% American women suffer from chronic airway obstruction. This obstruction decreases the rate of airflow through the lungs when a person exhales (breathes out). During the last decade, COPD has increased in women by 30%.
  • According to a 1985 study, death rates from COPD for patients aged 55 to 84 years were 200 per 100,000 men and 80 per 100,000 women in the United States. Although men had a higher death rate than women, the mortality rate due to COPD in women is expected to increase.
  • Worldwide data are sparse. However, because more than 1.2 billion people are exposed to smoking, the number of persons with COPD is probably quite high.
  • In 1990, the worldwide prevalence of COPD was estimated to be 9.4 per 1,000 in men and 7.3 per 1,000 in women.
  • One study in Spain determined that 9.1% of individuals aged 40 to 69 years had COPD. Of those individuals, 78% were men.
  • Overall death rates from COPD vary worldwide. For example, more than 400 deaths per 100,000 men aged 65 to 74 years occurred in Romania, whereas fewer than 100 deaths per 100,000 people in Japan occurred.
  • COPD is projected to rank fifth in the world in regard to burden of disease, which includes the costs, mortality, and morbidity.

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    1 23...Next»(Page 1 of 15)GlossaryChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Topic Guide YOU MAY ALSO LIKE VIEW COPD Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Must Read Articles Related to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Asthma Asthma is a disease that affects the breathing passages of the lungs (bronchioles). Asthma may be caused by genes and environmental factors. Asthma causes wheez...learn more >> Bronchitis Bronchitis is acute or chronic inflammation of the air passages in the lungs. There are several viruses and bacteria that cause bronchitis. Exposure to pollutan...learn more >> Cigarette Smoking Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness among Americans. Effects of smoking can cause cancers, emphysema, bronchitis, COPD, chronic cou...learn more >> See the Entire Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Topic Guide » Patient Comments & Reviews The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Symptoms The symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease? View 20 Comments Share Your Story COPD - Treatment What was the treatment for your COPD? Share Your Story COPD - Prognosis What is your COPD prognosis? Share Your Story COPD - Experience Please describe your experience with COPD. Share Your Story COPD - Diagnosis How was your COPD diagnosed? Share Your Story COPD - Medications What medications have been effective in treating your COPD? Share Your Story COPD - Home Remedies What home remedies have been effective in treating your COPD? 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    Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease »Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating disorder that causes a huge degree of human suffering. Read More on Medscape Reference »
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    • Teeth Wrecking Habits
    • Childhood ADHD Facts
    • Pictures of Psoriasis
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    Topics Related to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Anxiety
    • Asthma
    • Bronchitis (Chronic)
    • Chest X-Ray
    • Congestive Heart Failure
    • Cough
    • Emphysema
    • Exercise
    • Exercise-Induced Asthma
    • Smoking (Cigarette)
    Lungs Topics
    • Bronchitis
    • Smoking Effects Slideshow
    • Image Gallery: Acute Bronchitis
    • Smoking Quiz
    • Emphysema
    Vitamins Related To Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Magnesium
    • N-Acetyl Cysteine
    Medical Dictionary
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    COPD - Medications What medications have been effective in treating your COPD? Share Your Story COPD - Home Remedies What home remedies have been effective in treating your COPD? Share Your Story COPD - Causes What caused your COPD? 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    • COPD: What You Need to Know
    • Are You At Risk for COPD?
    • What Causes COPD?
    Featured Centers
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    • Could Stress Be Making Your MS Worse?
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    Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease »Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating disorder that causes a huge degree of human suffering. Read More on Medscape Reference »
    Featured Topics
    • MS Slideshow
    • Teeth Wrecking Habits
    • Childhood ADHD Facts
    • Pictures of Psoriasis
    • Adult ADHD Slideshow
    • RA in Pictures
    Topics Related to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Anxiety
    • Asthma
    • Bronchitis (Chronic)
    • Chest X-Ray
    • Congestive Heart Failure
    • Cough
    • Emphysema
    • Exercise
    • Exercise-Induced Asthma
    • Smoking (Cigarette)
    Lungs Topics
    • Bronchitis
    • Smoking Effects Slideshow
    • Image Gallery: Acute Bronchitis
    • Smoking Quiz
    • Emphysema
    Vitamins Related To Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Magnesium
    • N-Acetyl Cysteine
    Medical Dictionary
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    COPD - Causes What caused your COPD? 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    Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease »Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating disorder that causes a huge degree of human suffering. Read More on Medscape Reference »
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    Signs and Symptoms

    Brain and Nerve Center an online symptom search and symptom directory. Here you can find what is the symptom Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and what does it mean, you can also check what illnesses and diseases this symptom relates to.