Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseIntroduction
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD:
- Chronic bronchitis, defined by a long-term cough with mucus, and
- Emphysema, defined by destruction of the lungs over time.
Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. The more a person smokes, the more likely that person will develop COPD although some people smoke for years and never get COPD.
Other risk factors for COPD are:
- Exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace;
- exposure to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution;
- and frequent use of cooking gas without proper ventilation.
There is evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired lung function, suggesting that higher serum 25(OH)D levels could reduce the symptoms of COPD.
Page last edited: 06 May 2011