Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults aged 18 and over in the United States, 1998-2009

NCHS Data Brief. 2011 Jun;(63):1-8.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes substantial morbidity and mortality and may be unrecognized in its early stages. Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD), which includes both COPD and asthma, was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2008. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which both make emptying air from the lungs progressively more difficult and can be associated with cough, mucus production, wheezing, and breathlessness. Risk factors include primarily cigarette smoking, but also exposure to noxious particles or gases, recurrent infection, diet, and genetic factors. COPD is often preventable, but there is no cure. Treatment can control symptoms and slow disease progression. This report presents trends in COPD prevalence, hospitalization, and death rates, and detailed recent estimates for population subgroups. Asthma is excluded from this report because it is considered a different condition with fully reversible symptoms, although some people may have asthma and COPD concurrently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitalization / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Groups / ethnology
  • Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / ethnology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult