Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) also known as emphysema/chronic bronchitis/smoking damage is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus and wheezing. It’s typically caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions
The British Heart Foundation reports that an estimated 1.2 million people are living with diagnosed COPD – considerably more than the 835,000 estimated by the Department of Health in 2011. In terms of diagnosed cases, this makes COPD the second most common lung disease in the UK, after asthma. Around 2% of the whole population – 4.5% of all people aged over 40 – live with diagnosed COPD.