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"3,. Bernstein IL, Chan-Yeung M, Malo J-L, Bernstein DI. Definition and classification of asthma. In: Bernstein IL, Chan-Yeung M, Malo J-L, Bernstein DI, editors. Asthma in the workplace, 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker: 1999. p. 1-4.
"5,. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and World Health Organization. Global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease: a collaborative project of the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the World Health Organization. Bethesda, MD: National of Health; 2001.
This nhn COPD Guide includes information about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that is written primarily to help COPD Patients better understand their condition and the range of COPD treatment options that are currently available:
The nhn Definition for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), including Chronic Bronchitis, Chronic Asthmatic Bronchitis, and Emphysema was compiled from several prior works:
The term COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is generally used to reference the incidence of Respiratory System Diseases that may include Emphysema (associated with damage of the alveoli), and/or Chronic Bronchitis (associated with inflammation and degeneration of the trachea, bronchi and bronchioles, accompanied by hypersecretion of mucus onto their walls)*. These conditions result in breathing problems associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the airways & lungs to irritants like tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, dusts, and other forms of air pollution. With continuing exposure, the lung and airway damage caused by COPD gets progressively worse, and cannot be reversed.
However, it is possible to prevent further damage by ending exposure to the irritant, which for most patients means smoking cessation. Common symptoms of COPD include long-term difficulty with breathing, as well as coughing and/or wheezing. COPD is a very serious disease that is currently ranked the third leading cause of death in the US.
*Asthma Patients may contract Chronic Asthmatic Bronchitis, which may also be considered as COPD.
This nhn Definition for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease was derived using several resources including the following COPD Definition source references:
The World Health Organization Definition for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) points out that COPD is a life-threatening disease:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease characterized by chronic obstruction of lung airflow that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible. The more familiar terms 'chronic bronchitis' and 'emphysema' are no longer used, but are now included within the COPD diagnosis. COPD is not simply a "smoker's cough" but an under-diagnosed, life-threatening lung disease.
The Mayo Clinic Definition for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) indicates a causative link with (tobacco) smoking:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow as you exhale and make it increasingly difficult for you to breathe. Emphysema and chronic asthmatic bronchitis are the two main conditions that make up COPD. In all cases, damage to your airways eventually interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs. COPD is a leading cause of death and illness worldwide. Most COPD is caused by long-term smoking and can be prevented by not smoking or quitting soon after you start. This damage to your lungs can't be reversed, so treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and minimizing further damage.
The US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COPD Homepage links COPD with some forms of asthma:
What is COPD? - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma.
The US Dept. of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health (NIH) COPD Definition specifically indicates Cigarette Smoking as the prime cause of COPD:
What Is COPD? - COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, also may contribute to COPD.
The National Institutes of Health, US National Library of Medicine COPD Definition states that most COPD Patients suffer from both Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis:
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, which involves a long-term cough with mucus. Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time. Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions.
The American Lung Association COPD Definition is relatively short:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD, also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is a very serious disease, and the third leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is that COPD is often preventable and treatable.
In one research paper, the American Thoracic Society references, and expands upon, two other works and differentiates some work-related, organic-dust induced, respiratory diseases from either COPD or true Asthma:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD is defined as a disease state that is characterized by the presence of airflow limitation that is not fully reversible. The airflow limitation is usually both progressive and associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles or gases"5,. COPD can result from chronic bronchitis accompanied by hypersecretion of mucus and/or emphysema characterized by destruction of alveolar walls. Some work-related airway disorders do not fit neatly into either asthma or COPD categories. Work-related variable air-flow limitation may occur with occupational exposure to organic dusts such as cotton (byssinosis), flax, hemp, jute, sisal, and various grains. Such organic dust-induced airway disease is often classified as an "asthma-like disorder" rather than as "true" asthma"3,.
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