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COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that can lead to severe respiratory failure.
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that can lead to severe respiratory failure. (Credits:

A study found a high percentage of smokers are unaware of suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Imagine a strange disease that destroys your lungs without causing more symptoms of cough, sputum or shortness of breath? In fact, it is, especially if you are a smoker or former smoker,  COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that can lead to severe respiratory failure, which causes shortness of breath at the slightest movement.

Moreover, even your doctor can ignore your condition. As proof, a Dutch study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that it is not uncommon to detect COPD in a chest CT scan done to find... lung cancer. Professor Pim de Jong and colleagues at the University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands) highlight the value and benefit from the scanner to diagnose COPD.

Thus, the doctors have submitted a 1000 smokers to chest CT scan to detect any lung tumor. The review observed 27%  COPD cases. The authors estimate that during a chest CT scan, regardless of the reason why it is performed, COPD should be sought, particularly when patients suffering from addiction to tobacco. In all cases, detection of COPD can be done much more simply, a GP, by measuring the respiratory capacity by using an electronic spirometer.

Many people suffer from COPD and are not aware of it. Because the disease still does not alert its victims. However, the disease may already be there, happily mowing down of lung tissue, as it does nothing to stop the process by appropriate treatment and smoking cessation.

While the chronology of the outbreak of the disease is not fully clarified, a Canadian team has revived the debate in a major international journals (New England Journal of Medicine) - the main thing is known: wall thickening of the respiratory tree and alveoli, the small bags used for respiratory exchange in the lungs are permanently deleted. In total we end up with a lung capacity reduced by one third or more if you do not treat the disease and if you continue to smoke. That is why the diagnosis as early as possible is important. Especially as the lung destruction may start early if you started smoking young.


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