Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an often neglected disease of the respiratory system has been brought into the spotlight by researchers. The vast majority of people with the disease are smokers. Exposure to environmental hazards such as air pollution and smoke from wood fires also comes into play in some cases.
According to a recent study by the year 2020, in fact, it will be the third leading cause of death worldwide. Right now, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in developed nations, including the United States. According to the report, COPD is characterized by airflow limitations that cannot be completely reserved. The lungs also respond to noxious particles or gases by becoming inflamed. Symptoms include coughing, sputum production, and shortness of breath. In most cases the disease is progressive, meaning people continually get worse.
Researchers say upcoming studies should look at the clinical features of the disease and the burden COPD places on society, how the disease develops, how to treat people with stable and severe COPD, and new drug therapies that may improve the care people receive for the disease.