oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease : which bronchodilators? : review



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of disability and death in developed and developing countries. The disease accounts for an increased utilisation of healthcare resources, resulting in increased healthcare expenditure. COPD is a respiratory disease, mainly caused by smoking, and characterised by lung hyperinflation, progressive, partially reversible airway obstruction, increasing severity and frequency of exacerbations, and systemic manifestations.

COPD is associated with various co-morbid diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis, malnutrition, anaemia, ischaemic heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and peripheral muscle dysfunction. The rate of recognised depression and anxiety associated with COPD increases with disease severity. Treatment of the disease involves a combination of non-pharmacological methods, as well as pharmacological treatment based on the grade of severity of the disease, and the presenting symptoms and risk factors.


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