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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Respiratory diseases, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are among the nation’s most common and costly chronic conditions. COPD refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. The most common conditions include emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and some cases of asthma. COPD can affect the airways and lungs and can cause symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue or inability to exercise, and tightness in the chest.

QUICK STATS: COPD in the United States

  • There are several causes of COPD. The largest risk factor is smoking.
  • More women are affected by COPD than men.
  • Almost 15.7 million Americans reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD.
  • Hospitalization rates for COPD are highest in those 65 years of age or older.
  • COPD was the third-leading cause of death in the United States in 2014.
  • Death rates are higher among American Indian populations, non-Hispanic whites, and in states that surround the Ohio River Valley.

Learn more about COPD.

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