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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • By: Jake Nichols & Christina Graham
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex disease currently affecting a large number of individuals across the world. Although historically thought of as a disease of older males, the prevalence in females is rising, as are the overall death rates. Patients with COPD primarily suffer from dyspnea, decreased exercise capacity, and chronic cough, which are primarily caused by progressive airflow limitation. The airway obstruction commonly encountered in COPD results from multiple pathophysiological processes, some of which may be preventable and modifiable. Lifestyle modifications, primarily smoking cessation, can have a tremendous impact on slowing the decline of lung function attributed to the disease. The mainstays of treatment are bronchodilators, and as lung function declines, the importance of including lifestyle modifications becomes even more essential. National ...

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