Volume 2, Issue 2, March 2016, Page: 13-25
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: An Overview of Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Staging and Management
Joyce Akwe, Atlanta Veterans Affair Medical Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Hospital Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
Nadene Fair, Atlanta Veterans Affair Medical Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Hospital Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
Received: Feb. 26, 2016;       Accepted: Mar. 3, 2016;       Published: Mar. 31, 2016
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijcems.20160202.11      View  3810      Downloads  95
Abstract
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease. It is among the fastest growing chronic diseases diagnosed in the world today. COPD is the third most common cause of death in the United States. It is characterized by the development of an inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious substances such as tobacco or air pollution. If the exposure becomes recurrent or persistent, the lungs develop chronic inflammatory response leading to lung parenchymal damage, air trapping and progressive airflow limitation. The Diagnosis of COPD is usually made in the context of symptoms and spirometry evidence of airway obstruction with post bronchodilator spirometry FEV1/FVC < 0.70. Most patients with COPD first seek medical attention when they develop dyspnea. Once the diagnosis of COPD is confirmed, the treatment is geared mainly towards preventing exacerbations and eliminating risk factors and exposures. Several treatment combinations can be used in patients with stable COPD to prevent exacerbations and to improve their quality of life. Patients with COPD exacerbations have to be appropriately diagnosed and promptly treated to prevent complications. Patient’s symptoms, the degree of airflow limitation, risk of exacerbations and the presence of comorbidities have to be assessed. Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions have been used in the management of COPD. Appropriate pharmacologic therapy can reduce COPD symptoms, reduce the frequency and severity of exacerbations, and improve health status and exercise tolerance. None of the existing medications for COPD have been shown conclusively to modify the long-term decline in lung function.
Keywords
COPD Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Staging and Diagnosis
To cite this article
Joyce Akwe, Nadene Fair, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: An Overview of Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Staging and Management, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2016, pp. 13-25. doi: 10.11648/j.ijcems.20160202.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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