Global burden and natural history of COPD

Trevor T. Hansel and Onn Min Kon

in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199549146
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607273 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Respiratory Medicine Library

Global burden and natural history of COPD

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• The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD, 2007) defines COPD as a non-reversible, progressive, obstructive lung disease generally caused by the inhalation of noxious gases and particles. COPD is recognized as being both preventable and treatable. • The diagnosis of COPD is frequently made at a late stage, as many patients ignore early symptoms of cough and exertional dyspnea. • The severity of COPD is commonly assessed by spirometry, in terms of the post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). • COPD is generally caused by tobacco smoking, but it is also caused by inhalation of smoke from burning biomass fuel in developing countries. • Tobacco smoking is rising globally because of increased smoking in many low-income countries. • In 2001 COPD was the fifth leading cause of death in high-income countries and the sixth leading cause of death in nations of low and middle income. • A series of genes have been associated with COPD and emphysema, but many of these associations have not been confirmed. • The annual rate of decline in FEV1 is the classical measure of the natural history of COPD. • Extrapulmonary systemic features of COPD include muscle weakness and wasting, cachexia, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, endocrine defects, anaemia, depression, and malignancies.

Chapter.  2310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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