COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term that is used to describe progressive lung disease. Diseases under COPD include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis.
COPD affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States. It gets progresively worse over time, adversly affecting breathing. Symptoms include increased breathlessness, wheezing, tightness in the chest and frequent coughing. In 2014, COPD was the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
What Causes COPD?
COPD most often occurs in people 40 or over who have a history of smoking. This includes current and former smokers. About 90% of individuals who develop COPD have smoked at some point.