In the UK, chronic respiratory diseases cause 13% of adult disability. The major chronic respiratory disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition involving chronic airway inflammation that causes airflow obstruction and destruction of lung tissue. This leads to a progressive loss of respiratory membrane, which accounts for the clinical manifestation of COPD, which is difficulty maintaining sufficient gas exchange to meet metabolic demands. The primary cause is smoking, with the vast majority of COPD patients having a past or present history of smoking. However, exposure to industrial pollutants is also a contributing factor, as is a rare genetic predisposition to developing COPD.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- End of life
- Chronic respiratory disease