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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (cont.)

How many people have COPD?

In the United States, approximately 14.2 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, 12.5 million people have chronic bronchitis, and 1.7 million people have emphysema. It is estimated that there may be an additional equal number of US citizens that have COPD, but who have not been diagnosed with the disorder. The number of people with COPD has increased by 41.5% since 1982.

  • An estimated 8% to 17% American men and 10% to 19% American women suffer from chronic airway obstruction. This obstruction decreases the rate of airflow through the lungs when a person exhales (breathes out). During the last decade, COPD has increased in women by 30%.
  • According to a 1985 study, death rates from COPD for patients aged 55 to 84 years were 200 per 100,000 men and 80 per 100,000 women in the United States. Although men had a higher death rate than women, the mortality rate due to COPD in women is expected to increase.

Worldwide data are sparse. However, because more than 1.2 billion people are exposed to smoking, the number of persons with COPD is probably quite high.

  • In 1990, the worldwide prevalence of COPD was estimated to be 9.4 per 1,000 in men and 7.3 per 1,000 in women.
  • One study in Spain determined that 9.1% of individuals aged 40 to 69 years had COPD. Of those individuals, 78% were men.
  • Overall death rates from COPD vary worldwide. For example, more than 400 deaths per 100,000 men aged 65 to 74 years occurred in Romania, whereas fewer than 100 deaths per 100,000 people in Japan occurred.
  • COPD is projected to rank fifth in the world in regard to burden of disease, which includes the costs, mortality, and morbidity. It is estimated to become the fourth leading cause of death in 2030. In the US, the direct costs of COPD are $29.5 billion with indirect costs of $20.4 billion.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/29/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Symptoms

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COPD - Treatment

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating disorder that causes a huge degree of human suffering.

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