Statistical Data On COPD

Sometimes numbers tell more than words. Here are statistics on COPD, found on the American Lung Association website:

  • Over 12 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COPD; twice that number have problems with lung function but have yet to be diagnosed with COPD.
  • Emphysema affects 4.7 million Americans, 92% of whom are 45 or older.
  • For the past eleven years, more women than men have died from COPD.
  • Emphysema now is diagnosed in more women than men.
  • Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis.
  • The biggest risk factor for COPD is smoking, accounting for about 80% of COPD deaths. Other risk factors are air pollution, second hand smoke, dusts and chemicals on the job, heredity, childhood respiratory infections, and socioeconomic status.
  • A gene that causes a deficiency of alpha1-protease inhibitor, a lung protector produced by the liver, causes alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency-related (AAT) emphysema. About 100,000 Americans, mostly of northern European descent, have AAT deficiency emphysema. This gene is carried by approximately 20 million Americans, and 116 million people worldwide.
  • More than half of hospitalizations for COPD are for people age 65 and older.
  • At least half of COPD patients experience limitations in ability to work, do household chores, engage in social and family activities, and sleep.
  • COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
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