Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

6.3% of U.S. Adults Report Having COPD

More than 15 million adults may be living with COPD and millions more may be unaware they have it. Learn the risk factors associated with COPD and the level of disease burden in your state.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a set of conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis that limit air flow and cause breathing difficulties. Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 15 million Americans report having a COPD diagnosis and millions more may not even realize they have it.

What Causes COPD?

Tobacco use is the main cause of COPD in the United States, but air pollutants at home (such as secondhand smoke) and at work (such as dusts, gases, and fumes), and genetics can also cause COPD.

Symptoms of COPD

Symptoms of COPD include—

Chronic cough (known also as smoker’s cough). Chronic phlegm production. Shortness of breath while doing things you used to be able to do. Not being able to take a deep breath. Wheezing.