oa Professional Nursing Today - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease : review

Volume 15, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1607-6672



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of chronic morbidity and mortality globally. A recent study suggests a global prevalence of approximately 10%. Interestingly, Cape Town had the highest global prevalence of 22.2% in men and 8.5% in women. COPD was thought to develop in only 15% of smokers. However, we now realise that this is an underestimation because COPD is both under-recognised and undiagnosed, as many patients accept the limitations associated with disease progression as natural for a person who has smoked. The incidence of COPD in non-smokers is estimated at 5% or less. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) estimates that COPD will be the third most common cause of death worldwide by 2020.

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