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What is COPD?

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a medical condition that encompasses chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a smoking related lung disease that causes shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.

Who gets COPD?

Tobacco exposure is the main risk factor for the development of COPD. Patients with COPD will experience chronic shortness of breath, fatigue, chronic cough and an overall poor quality of life. Other risk factors include indoor pollutions, chemical fumes and industrial dust.

How common is COPD?

Approximately 23 million people in the U.S. have COPD, and world-wide estimates are around 200 million.  COPD recently became the 3rd leading cause of mortality in the U.S.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

Symptoms vary, but usually include shortness of breath, constant cough, wheezing, fatigue and limited activity. Symptoms may suddenly get worse during something that is called a "COPD exacerbation", and may result in hospitalization.

The Tulane Lung Center is a comprehensive clinical program to evaluate and manage patients with COPD. You can make an appointment with our physicians by calling 504-988-5800.

People with COPD have a higher risk of lung cancer than people without COPD. The first line of treatment involves tobacco cessation and formal evaluation of the respiratory status using pulmonary function test (PFT). The vast majority of patients get significant relief with the use of inhalers or nebulizers. In more advanced cases oral medications, home oxygen and pulmonary rehabilitation are required. Tulane Pulmonary Physicians are involved in multidisciplinary teams to give the best care to COPD patients. We also work together with lung transplant specialists for very advanced cases.

Please give us a call if you or a loved one has COPD or the symptoms described above. The Tulane Lung Center will be an essential part of your recovery from this condition.

 

Useful links to websites that address COPD:

National Institutes of Health

Up To Date Patient Information

American Thoracic Society Patient Information

Patient UK

Tulane School of Medicine  504-988-3541 cestevez@tulane.edu