COPD Causes and Risk Factors

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive obstructive disease of the lungs. The obstruction of the airways is a result of inflammatory processes ongoing in the airways. Individuals with this disease typically present with shortness of breath, excess mucus production, and coughing.

This disease is caused by continuous exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, combustion gases, etc, over several years. Because it is a progressive disease, it aggravates over time. Therefore, simple activities such as walking on a flat surface or sitting causes loss of breath with time.

Causes of COPD

COPD is caused by different agents in high-income countries and low-income countries. In high-income countries, cigarette smoke is the predominant cause of COPD. In low-income countries, fumes from cooking fires, exhaust pipes, and poor ventilation in homes are the major causes of COPD.