Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( Copd )

907 Words Nov 25th, 2014 4 Pages
Matt McGuire
Dr. Wilson
25 November 2014
Chronic Bronchitis Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects an estimated 24 million individuals in the United States, where half of these people do not even know they have it (COPD Foundation 2014). COPD governs a deluge of ailments including: emphysema, refractory asthma, some forms of bronchiectasis, and the very prevalent chronic bronchitis. Chronic Bronchitis is a long-term pulmonary disease where there is a problem in the airway of the lungs, making it very difficult to breath, especially when one is trying to exhale air out of the airways. It is clinically defined as cough production of sputum occurring on most days in three consecutive months over two consecutive years (Chaudhry et al., 2013). Chronic Bronchitis is ubiquitous amongst adults over the age of 40, and the damage to the airways may be caused by inhaling toxins, genetic predisposition, and the most common risk factor, cigarette smoking (Kohnle 2013). There are also many more minor risk factors such as long-term chemical exposure, family with COPD, exposure to long term asthma, secondhand smoke, and history of frequent childhood lung infections (Kohnle 2013). All of these determinants factor into the pathogenesis of chronic bronchitis. Most notably, cigarette smoking, which initiates a cascade of effectors through inflammation of the pulmonary airway. Inflammation due to cigarette smoke exposure can cause fibrosis of the bronchiolar walls, airway…
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