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Exposure and Risk

Several exposures have been linked to an increased risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The largest risk factor for COPD is smoking, but exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution increases your risk as well.

Other risk factors of COPD include having:

  • Active asthma
  • Prior respiratory infections
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • A rare genetic condition related to emphysema known as CIOD alpha-1 deficiency-related emphysema

Almost 15.7 million Americans (6.4%) reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD, however it is commonly accepted that COPD is frequently underdiagnosed. The risk of developing COPD can be lowered by avoiding inhaling tobacco smoke, and reducing your exposure to air pollution.

COPD can also be managed and controlled to reduced emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and mortality by effectively managing risk factor exposures for persons with COPD. Early detection of COPD might change its course and progress.

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