Clinical update

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A new report on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by the British Lung Foundation criticises the lack of progress in tackling lung disease.

A new report on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by the British Lung Foundation criticises the lack of progress in tackling lung disease

Essential facts

An estimated three million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the UK, but less than one-third are diagnosed. COPD refers to a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have narrowed.

Two of these lung conditions are persistent bronchitis, when the airways are inflamed and narrowed, and emphysema, which causes the air sacs at the end of the airways to break down. These conditions can happen together.

What’s new?

COPD costs the UK £1.9 billion a year, according to a report by the British Lung Foundation. The total


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