COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs the airflow within the lungs. In the United States, COPD is estimated to affect between 16-24 million people and is the third leading cause of death. Currently, more women than men are dying of the disease. This progressive inflammatory condition is actually a group of diseases (including bronchitis and emphysema) that cause restricted airflowand breathing-related problems. The disease causes the lungs to overproduce mucus and makes breathing difficult. People with COPD will experience respiratory difficulties, including frequent coughing or wheezing, shortness of breath, and excessive phlegm, sputum, and mucus production. Adults living with COPD are prone to emergency room visits and live with limited abilities due to dependence on portable oxygen to supplement their limited air supply. The biggest risk factor for COPD is smoking. Quitting smoking and early detection of COPD may stop the disease from progressing and the lungs recover from damage.

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