Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


The prevalence of COPD is strongly associated with age. It will rise from the 12th place to the 5th place in the World Health Organisation ranking list of disability-adjusted life years (DALYS). COPD is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the industrialised and developing countries. Ageing of the population and past smoking are the major causes of the increase in COPD. The common risk factors associated with non-smoking COPD are air pollution and occupational exposures to fumes and dust. Airflow limitation is generally progressive with COPD; however, the rate of decline is highly variable. Historically COPD has been categorised into two clinical phenotypes, ‘pink puffer’ and ‘blue bloater’. Spirometry is the most useful measure of outflow obstruction. Viral and bacterial infections and air pollution cause exacerbations of COPD and indicate worsening of the underlying chronic inflammation of the airways, and the frequency of the exacerbations is one of the important determinants of health-related quality of life.


COPD Airway remodelling Spirometry Long-acting beta-2 agents (LABAs) Oxygen therapy Acute exacerbation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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