COPD stands for the English name chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and describes a chronic disease of the lungs. The airways are permanently contracted and inflamed. Patients suffer from shortness of breath after physical effort and cough with sputum. Smokers and passive smokers are exposed to the highest risk of this disease. The most important treatment is therefore to refrain from tobacco.
In German the disease is referred to as “Chronisch obstruktive Lungenerkrankung”. The terminology prefers the name “Chronic obstructive bronchitis”. The terms “lung emphysema” and “chronic bronchitis” are often associated with COPD.
COPD is often played down with the term “smoker’s cough” or “smoker’s lung”. However this disease can be life threatening. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a total number of COPD patients worldwide at 64 million. About 14 percent of all adults suffer from this disease. Therefore COPD is the most frequent respiratory disease. Today it is place four in the list of the most frequent causes of death worldwide. Experts believe that COPD will occupy place three by 2020. No other widespread disease has seen such an “increase”.