Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) kills more than 3 million people worldwide every year. Despite progress in the treatment of symptoms and prevention of acute exacerbations, few advances have been made to ameliorate disease progression or affect mortality. A better understanding of the complex disease mechanisms resulting in COPD is needed. Smoking cessation programmes, increasing physical activity, and early detection and treatment of comorbidities are further key components to reduce the burden of the disease. However, without a global political and economic effort to reduce tobacco use, to regulate environmental exposure, and to find alternatives to the massive use of biomass fuel, COPD will remain a major health-care problem for decades to come.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.