The Etiologic Origins for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2019 May 27;14:1139-1158. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S203215. eCollection 2019.


COPD, characterized by long-term poorly irreversible airway limitation and persistent respiratory symptoms, has resulted in enormous challenges to human health worldwide, with increasing rates of prevalence, death, and disability. Although its origin was thought to be in the interactions of genetic with environmental factors, the effects of environmental factors on the disease during different life stages remain little known. Without clear mechanisms and radical cure for it, early screening and prevention of COPD seem to be important. In this review, we will discuss the etiologic origins for poor lung function and COPD caused by specific adverse effects during corresponding life stages, as well as try to find new insights and potential prevention strategies for this disease.

Keywords: COPD; air pollution; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cigarette smoking; early origins; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / genetics
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / physiopathology
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Air Pollutants
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution