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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and some cases of chronic asthma.

COPD in India which is one of the most affected countries in the world and contributes significantly to the mortality and morbidity of this disease; knowledge is necessary to provide insights into the etiological determinants of COPD in India for prevention and early management of the disease.

COPD is almost always caused by smoking. Over time, breathing tobacco smoke irritates the airways and destroys the stretchy fibers in the lungs.

Other things that may put you at risk include breathing chemical fumes, dust, or air pollution over a long period of time. Second hand smoke also may damage the lungs.

It usually takes many years for the lung damage to start causing symptoms, so COPD is most common in people who are older than 60.

You may be more likely to get COPD if you had a lot of serious lung infections when you were a child. People who get emphysema in their 30s or 40s may have a disorder that runs in families, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. But this is rare.

It’s very important to stop smoking. If you keep smoking after being diagnosed with COPD, the disease will get worse faster, your symptoms will be worse, and you will have a greater risk of having other serious health problems.

The lung damage that causes symptoms of COPD doesn’t heal and cannot be repaired. But if you have mild to moderate COPD and you stop smoking, you can slow the rate at which breathing becomes more difficult. You will never be able to breathe as well as you would have if you had never smoked, but you may be able to postpone or avoid more serious problems with breathing.


Don’t smoke

The best way to keep COPD from starting or from getting worse is to not smoke.

There are clear benefits to quitting, even after years of smoking. When you stop smoking, you slow down the damage to your lungs. For most people who quit, loss of lung function is slowed to the same rate as a nonsmoker’s.

Stopping smoking is especially important if you have low levels of the protein alpha-1 antitrypsin. People who have an alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency may lower their risk for severe COPD if they get regular shots of alpha-1 antitrypsin. Family members of someone with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency should be tested for the condition.

 Avoid bad air

Other airway irritants (such as air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust) also can make COPD worse, but they are far less important than smoking in causing the disease.

Get vaccines

Flu vaccines

If you have COPD, you need to get a flu vaccine every year. When people with COPD get the flu, it often turns into something more serious, like pneumonia. A flu vaccine can help prevent this from happening.

Also, getting regular flu vaccines may lower your chances of having COPD flare-ups.

Pneumococcal vaccine

People with COPD often get pneumonia. Getting a shot can help keep you from getting very ill with pneumonia. People younger than 65 usually need only one shot. But doctors sometimes recommend a second shot for some people who got their first shot before they turned 65. Talk with your doctor about whether you need a second shot. Two different types of pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for people ages 65 and older.

There has been growing realization that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) severity and prognosis are determined only partially by lung function impairment; indeed once forced expiratory volume (FEV1) (measurement of how much air a person can exhale during a forced breath. The amount of air exhaled may be measured during the first (FEV1), second (FEV2), and/or third seconds (FEV3) of the forced breath.), is less than 50% predicted, it yields no prognostic value. This may explain the limited benefits of pulmonary pharmological therapies and the rapidly expanding interest in therapies designed to treat the systemic consequences of COPD. Despite initial scepticism that COPD patients (with their pulmonary impairment) could achieve exercise levels necessary to produce a rue physiological training effect. Pulmonary rehabilitation has emerged as arguably the most effective non pharmological intervention in improving exercise capacity and health status in COPD patients, supported by a number of research articles.


PR is a multidisciplinary program of care for patients with chronic respiratory impairment that is designed to maximize each patient’s physical and social performance, reduce symptoms and restore autonomy. In general, PR consists of individually tailored exercise training and multidisciplinary education sessions that focus on psychosocial and lifestyle issues, with a particular emphasis on self management. Many research articles have demonstrated clinically and statistically significant improvements in exercise capacity and health related quality of life in COPD patients following pulmonary rehabilitation.

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