An estimated 3.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema and 11.2 million U.S. adults have been estimated to have COPD. Emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are related lung conditions that are caused by many years of cigarette smoking (‘smoker’s lung’) and other factors.
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive lung disease that negatively affects one’s ability to breathe. Most people who have COPD are living with both emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis, each of which affects the lungs in its own way.
In emphysema, damage to the walls between air sacs causes the sacs to lose their shape and often results in destruction of the walls themselves, thus creating fewer and larger air sacs instead of many tiny ones. As a result, the amount of gas exchanged in the lungs is reduced.
Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is characterized by irritation and inflammation to the lining of the airways, which causes the lining to thicken. In addition, thick mucus forms in the airways, making it difficult to breathe.
While tobacco use is the number one factor in the development and progression of COPD, exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections can also play a role in the disease. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and an increased production of mucus.
There are a number of treatments that can help patients living with COPD, including inhalers, steroids and oxygen therapy. However, the most important step to living a better life is to stop smoking.
January 06, 2016
Adding 'Flowsheet' to EHRs Can Help With COPD Management
The outcome of a new study published in Respiratory Medicine indicated that “integrating electronic health records into the outpatient process for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can help disease management for such patients.”
December 17, 2015
Does COPD Begin at Childhood?
To mark World COPD Day,an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)...
September 28, 2015
Current Diagnostic Criteria for COPD Inadequate, Experts Say
A recent analysis published in the BMJ details findings that indicate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management programs and guidelines consistently over-diagnose elderly patients and underdiagnose young ones.
September 21, 2015
Study Shows COPD Re-admissions Can Be Reduced
A new sleep center study shows re-hospitalization of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be significantly reduced using a multi-faceted approach.
September 14, 2015
Were You a Passive Smoker as a Teen? You Could Be at Risk of COPD
According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the department of public health at University of Copenhagen...
August 31, 2015
Living an Active Life with COPD
For those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), exercise can be a daunting thought.
August 10, 2015
Aspirin a Day Keeps Emphysema Away, Early Study Alludes.
According to a recent observational study, regular aspirin use is associated with a slowing of the progression of subclinical emphysema.
July 20, 2015
Order Sets Help Decrease COPD Hospitalization
According to a recent study published in the Canadian Respiratory Journal, the use of order sets by physicians for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is able to reduce hospitalization time and medication use outcomes.
June 22, 2015
COPD Risk Is Higher in Poor and Rural Communities
According to a new study released by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, the chance of having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is almost...
June 15, 2015
Research Shows E-Cigarette Vapor Could Lead to Emphysema
Central Michigan University (CMU)researchers have found that inhaling the vapor of electronic cigarettes could lead to emphysema...
May 25, 2015
Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough Pushes COPD Treatment Forward, Marks Win For Method
Scientists are moving beyond stem cells to research the ability of fully mature lung cells...
April 27, 2015
Female Smokers More Susceptible to Emphysema
Due to a gene mutation called telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), researchers from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have found that females may be more susceptible to emphysema than men.
April 13, 2015
Twitter Useful for Smoking Cessation Programs
We know social media helps to connect people from all walks of life, but recently, University of California, Irvine (UCI), and Stanford University...
March 30, 2015
Identifying Which Smartphone App Features Aid Smoking Cessation
Smoking has been associated with the deaths of nearly six million people worldwide each year. So it’s no wonder there are over 400 smartphone applications, or apps, available to help people quit smoking. But which ones really work? And why?
February 09, 2015
CDC Finds Nearly Half of Older Adults with Asthma, COPD Still Smoke
Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States, close to half of adults over 40 who have been diagnosed with asthma or COPD still continue to smoke
January 05, 2015
Researchers Find New COPD Therapy Device Makes Breathing Easier
Millions of people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) now have renewed hope, thanks to a new device that is demonstrated to improve breathlessness.
December 29, 2014
Treating COPD in the Elderly
The treatment of seniors (age 66 and older) who have both asthma and disease (COPD) has become increasingly difficult, as their younger counterparts are thought to experience less lung inflammation when receiving the same treatment.
December 22, 2014
Diabetes More Prevalent in COPD Patients Without Emphysema
In a new study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine, researchers aimed to determine the frequency of diabetes in those patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
December 08, 2014
Asthma vs. COPD
Often times the signs and symptoms of asthma are confused with the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by both the patient and physician; however the two are different and require different treatments.
December 02, 2014
"Lung Flute" Helps COPD Patients Breathe Easier
University of Buffalo (UB) researchers have created a device aimed at helping alleviate airflow restriction in patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis.
November 24, 2014
COPD: Is Stepping Down Therapy Safe?
The results of a recent trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine,that studied the gradual withdrawal of inhaled glucocorticoids and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)...
November 17, 2014
New Role for Medical Practitioners: COPD Patient Motivational Intervention
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often also suffer from psychosocial co-morbidity, the combination of multiple medical conditions at one time that affects the mental state.
November 03, 2014
Chronic Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Emphysema Associated with Lung Cancer Risk
In August, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine released its findings that three common respiratory diseases--bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema...
October 27, 2014
The ABCs of COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has the job of acting as a catch-all term for bronchitis, emphysema and in some cases, chronic asthma, of which are all directly associated with airflow obstruction.
October 20, 2014
Coping Techniques Help COPD Patients Improve Mentally and Physically
Patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could boost their quality of life and improve physical symptoms by using coaches to “manage stress, practice relaxation and participate in light exercise.”
October 13, 2014
Study Finds Half of COPD Patients Suffer from Breathlessness
A group of researchers from GlaxoSmithKline R&D, the research and development arm of the global healthcare company, recently conducted a study testing the frequency of and factors associated with dyspnoea...
October 06, 2014
Study Reveals 76 Percent Reduction in Risk of Death with NPPV Intervention
In an eye opening estimation, experts have predicted chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.
September 16, 2014
New Study to Investigate Whether Ibuprofen Can Reverse the Effects of Emphysema
An estimated 12 million adults have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and another 3.1 million with emphysema, both responsible for the destruction of lung tissue that leaves those affected struggling to breathe.
September 08, 2014
Patient Education and Awareness are Key in Preventing Flare-Ups
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can mean dealing with the sometimes debilitating symptoms that interrupt everyday life.
September 01, 2014
New Respiratory Disease Breakthrough
It is well known that a continuous cycle of inflammation can lead to continued decline in lung function, making it increasingly difficult for emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) sufferers to breathe or take part in routine activities.
August 25, 2014
Are COPD Patients More Likely to Suffer from Depression?
A recent study by University of Amsterdam researchers sought to investigate whether depression occurs more often in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) than in those without.
August 18, 2014
Limiting the Impact of COPD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is described as a progressive disease, meaning it develops slowly and the symptoms gradually worsen over time.
August 12, 2014
One Step Closer to a Breath Test for Lung Cancer
The results of a recent University of Colorado study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2014 show that a test of organic compounds in exhaled breath can not only distinguish patients with lung cancer from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but can also define the stage of any cancer present.
August 04, 2014
Tiny Coils Help COPD Patients to Breathe Easier
The permanent lung damage caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have a new foe in the form of a procedure that does not require surgery.
July 14, 2014
Anti-Platelet Therapy Tied to Fewer Deaths in COPD Flares
High platelet counts have been found to play a significant role in inflammation caused during chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations.
June 30, 2014
New Research Suggests COPD Treatment Should Include Surgery for Some
The treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a major cause of disability and premature death for millions affected, now has renewed hope as a result of clinical trials performed by researchers at Imperial College London.
June 16, 2014
Improved Kitchen Ventilation Shown to Improve Lung Function, Reduce Risk of COPD
Improving kitchen ventilation and switching cooking fuels may reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and improve lung function, according to...
May 26, 2014
COPD May Increase Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may increase of the risk of contracting Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia.
May 19, 2014
Depression May Worsen Symptoms of COPD
Depression and anxiety may worsen symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and result in exacerbations and hospitalizations.
January 10, 2014
Lung Diseases May Affect More than Lungs
Chronic lung conditions in adults, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis, may lead to gastroesophageal reflux according to a recent study published in the August issue of Respirology, Proximal and distal gastro-oesophageal reflux in COPD and bronchiectasis.
December 12, 2013
Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalent in Chronic Lung Patients
According to a recent study published in Thorax, a leading respiratory medicine journal, vitamin D deficiency is a frequent occurrence in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and has been found to correlate directly to the severity of the disease.
January 03, 2012
COPD: The Basics
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third-leading cause of death in the United States and one of the most common lung diseases in the world.
December 06, 2011
DRIVE4COPD Unveils COPD Monument to Travel the Country
DRIVE4COPD, a multiyear public health initiative that aims to help people identify symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and take action, recently unveiled 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument, which will travel the country after its unveiling in New York.
Loss of Small Airways Before Emphysema May Explain COPD
The narrowing and disappearance of small airways before the onset of emphysematous destruction, which is marked by the onset and spread of lesions and holes in the lung, may explain the increased peripheral airway resistance reported in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
November 07, 2011
Reduced Lung Function Increases Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Individuals with reduced lung function, such as those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
September 26, 2011
Emphysema Severity and Lung Thickness Tied to COPD Exacerbations
Percentage of lung affected by emphysema and bronchial wall thickness on quantitative computed tomography (CT) are associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, independent of the severity of airflow obstruction.
September 19, 2011
Physician Groups Issue New Treatment Guidelines for COPD
New guidelines for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been released, updating the previous guidelines that were set forth by the American College of Physicians (ACP) in 2007.
August 22, 2011
CT Scans Reveal Changes in Lungs Associated with COPD Flare-Ups
Researchers have identified two types of structural changes associated with frequent exacerbations in the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a recent study published in Radiology.
February 21, 2011
Recent Study Uncovers Exacerbation Frequency Related to COPD Severity
Frequency of exacerbations such as dyspnea, cough, and sputum production in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients may be related to the severity of the disease, according to recent study.