The symptoms of COPD can be well controlled with quality health care and a healthy environment. However, smoking, living in areas with poor air quality, and lack of regular medical care contribute to an increase in COPD symptoms and hospitalizations rates.
Other non-environmental risk factors include asthma, smoking, and prior respiratory infections. A current asthma diagnosis has been found to be the most significant risk factor for COPD, higher than cigarette smoking.
Different segments of the population bear a disproportionate burden of COPD.
- Compared to all other racial/ethnic groups, COPD hospitalizations were three times higher for Blacks
- Females are more likely to report COPD and die at a higher rate due to COPD
- People aged 65+ were more likely to report COPD