Long-term or permanent cough with sputum indicative of inflammatory changes in the respiratory tract and often breathlessness. The condition is an outcome of chronic exposure to respiratory irritants, notably tobacco smoke or urban air pollution, often aggravated by recurring respiratory infections. With right-sided heart failure as a terminal consequence, it is a common cause of severe disability and premature death among lifelong cigarette smokers. See also chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.