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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is term that includes a number of diseases that are characterized by lung dysfunction caused when the airflow to and from areas within the lung is blocked or obstructed. Most people have heard of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and those two lung diseases are both forms of COPD.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and experts predict that it will become the third leading cause by the year 2020. Most cases of COPD are caused, either directly or indirectly, by smoking. Smokers have a 10 to 15 percent greater chance of developing COPD than non-smokers, and people who are exposed to second hand smoke also have an increased risk. Quitting smoking, or never starting in the first place, is the best way to avoid developing COPD.

Most people do not seek treatment until their disease has progressed to a later stage that is difficult to treat. We’d like to change that. Read more . . .

Last UpdateNovember 10, 2011

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