Term: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2011-01-24


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) are a group of lung diseases characterized by limited airflow with variable degrees of air sack enlargement and lung tissue destruction. Emphysema (permanently enlarged air sacks of the lung with reduced lung elasticity) and chronic bronchitis (inflamed and narrowed airways) are the most common forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. See MedlinePlus® - Health Topics - COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) for more information.

In Raymond et al. (2011), they used the following definition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): "COPD is an obstructive pulmonary disorder usually caused by smoking. It typically involves partially reversible airway obstruction and lung hyperinflation, exertional dyspnea, cough and/or sputum production, and frequent respiratory tract infections and increasing frequency of exacerbations" (O'Donnell et al., 2007).

For more information, see the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Prevalence concept.

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