Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a condition that includes conditions previously described as chronic bronchitis (inflammation and narrowing of the airways) and emphysema (weakening of the structure of the lung).
COPD causes narrowing of the airways and destruction of lung tissue.
Typical symptoms of COPD are shortness of breath, cough and sputum production.
Although these symptoms can be dealt with, the weakening of the lungs caused by COPD is not fully reversible.
The term “COPD” is widely used by health professionals but it is not generally recognised by the public. Still it is the best name we have to describe the disease. COPD is a common, costly and preventable disease that has substantial implications for the health of people living in Europe.
COPD is a leading cause of death that is becoming more common worldwide.