About COPD

Disease characteristics

COPD is a progressive disease that impacts millions of people. Developing most often in people 40 and older, it is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.1-3 

Patients with COPD may experience2,4,5:

  • Dyspnea
  • Cough
  • Sputum production
  • Wheezing and chest tightness

Lung function and disease progression are measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 second, or FEV1. COPD causes an irreversible decline in FEV1 over time.2

Decrease in FEV1 over time

 

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  • Symptoms develop when FEV1 falls below ≈60% of the predicted normal value6

Decrease in FEV1 with age corresponds to increase in COPD diagnosis with age.2

Age-adjusted* percentage of adults reporting having ever been told by a physician or other health care professional that they had COPD7

*Age-adjusted to the 2000 US standard population aged >18 years.

Annual per-person medical expenditures are higher for people with COPD8

 

Of the total national medical costs associated with COPD, 18% were paid for by commercial plans, 51% by Medicare, and 25% by Medicaid. Remaining costs include those paid out of pocket and by other federal and state programs besides Medicare and Medicaid (eg, Veterans Administration, TRICARE).8


 

References:

  1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. COPD: the more you know, the better for you and your loved ones. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/copd/campaign-materials/pub/copd-atrisk.pdf. Accessed May 9, 2018.
  2. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). 2018:1-123. 
  3. American Lung Association. Trends in COPD (chronic bronchitis and emphysema): morbidity and mortality. http://www.lung.org/assets/documents/research/copd-trend-report.pdf. Accessed January 22, 2018. 
  4. US Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. COPD: the more you know, the better for you and your loved ones. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/copd/campaign-materials/pub/copd-atrisk.pdf. Accessed January 22, 2018. 
  5. MacNee W. Pathology, pathogenesis, and pathophysiology. BMJ. 2006;332(7551):1202-1204. 
  6. Barnes PJ, Burney PGJ, Silverman EK. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015;1:15076. 
  7. Wheaton AG, Cunningham TJ, Ford ES, Croft JB; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Employment and activity limitations among adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—United States, 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(11):289-295.
  8. Ford ES, Murphy LB, Khavjou O, Giles WH, Holt JB, Croft JB. Total and state-specific medical and absenteeism costs of COPD among adults aged ≥18 years in the United States for 2010 and projections through 2020. Chest. 2015;147(1):31-45.