September 24, 2016
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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) (cont.)

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Can COPD be prevented?

Except for COPD due to genetic problems, COPD can be prevented in many people by simply never using tobacco products.

Other preventive measures include

  • Avoiding wood, oil, and coal-burning fumes
  • Limiting one's exposure to air pollutants
  • Getting vaccines to avoid infections can help reduce lung damage and the COPD symptoms that accompany lung damage.

What is the prognosis for a person with COPD?

For people with mild COPD (stage I) the prognosis is very good and they may have a relatively normal life expectancy but this decreases as the severity of staging increases.

People with COPD who are admitted to an ICU have an estimated death rate of about 24% and this rate can double for people over age 65.

The average life expectancy of a COPD patient who undergoes a lung transplant is about five years.

People who have COPD and continue to smoke, have a rapid decline in FEV1, who develop severe hypoxemia, develop right-sided heart failure and/or have poor ability to do daily functions usually have a poor prognosis.


Kleinschmidt, P. "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Emphysema in Emergency Medicine." Medscape. Jun 06, 2014

Mosenifar, Z. "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)." Medscape. Updated Oct 30, 2014.

American Lung Association. "COPD."

American Cancer Society. "Prescription drugs to help you quit smoking." Updated Feb 06, 2014

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/4/2015


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