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The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness, a chronic cough that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit the ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent people from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of themselves. COPD has no cure yet and doctors don't know how to reverse the damage to the airways and lungs. However, COPD is often preventable and treatable. Treatments and lifestyle changes can help those affected feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease. Early detection of COPD is key to successful treatment. Knowing the symptoms or exposures to risk factors (see below) may lead to early diagnosis of COPD.
COPD is a serious lung disease that makes it hard to breathe and gets worse over time. COPD can cause coughing with or without large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. When COPD is severe, it can cause serious, long-term disability. Lower respiratory diseases, which include COPD, are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States and the 4th leading cause of death in New Mexico.

COPD is a major cause of disability; was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2014. COPD is the third leading cause of hospitalization in the United States with over 715,000 admissions in 2005. Beginning in 2008, COPD has surpassed stroke as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. As of 2009, 11.8 million adults aged 18+ years in the United States reported having physician-diagnosed COPD, however it is commonly accepted that COPD is frequently underdiagnosed. There are also large racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender biases in COPD prevalence. Since 1993, the rate of admission for COPD in women surpasses that of men. Further, hospitalization rates generally increase with age, and are highest in those 65 years of age and older. It is estimated that nearly 24% of all Americans 65 years and older have COPD. In contrast to ED visits, COPD hospitalizations have declined in recent years, -22% in the last five years overall, -30% for males and -20% for females.
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Content updated: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:26:02 MDT