Do you know what COPD stands for?

Do you know what COPD stands for?

02.01.12 | By Preet Bilinski

If not, don't worry: you are not alone. However, considering that more than 13 million Americans suffer from the disease and an additional 12 million likely have it without knowing it, it's time to learn.

copd

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases in the U.S. COPD is a progressive lower respiratory disease that encompasses two main conditions - chronic bronchitis and emphysema - characterized by obstructed airflow to the lungs that interferes with normal breathing. While smoking is the main risk factor for COPD, and nearly 90 percent of COPD deaths are caused by smoking, other causes include air pollution, second-hand smoke, occupational dusts and chemicals, hereditary and childhood respiratory infections.

More than 120,000 Americans die from COPD each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. That's one person dying of COPD every 4 minutes. That's not acceptable to America's biopharmaceutical researchers, who are exploring various new ways to attack COPD and have 54 medicines in development.

These exciting therapies are in late-stage development, meaning they are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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