Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Alternate Names : COPD, Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COLD)
What can be done to prevent the disease?
Many risk factors for COPD can be completely eliminated. Smoking cessation is vital for those who smoke. Sources of indoor air pollution can be identified and removed. It's important to avoid secondhand smoke.
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. The long-term effects depend on how severe the COPD is when diagnosed and if a reduced exposure to the lung irritant occurs. The most effective treatment is quitting smoking. This will typically result in a modest improvement or no further decline in function. People with COPD have a higher mortality than those with normal lung function. Causes of death include respiratory failure, lung infections such as pneumonia and influenza, and other diseases related to smoking. These include cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
What are the risks to others?
COPD is not contagious. However, people who live with smokers have significant health risks because of their exposure to the smoke.