Prince Edward Island COPD Trends 2001 - 2011

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a term for multiple chronic respiratory diseases that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Most people with COPD have both conditions, resulting in a chronic cough with mucus from the chronic bronchitis, and progressive destruction of the lungs with shortness of breath from the emphysema. Symptoms of COPD do not usually begin until after 55 years of age, but the damage to the lungs may begin many years earlier. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the better improvements will be seen by risk factor reduction and treatments.

While COPD is a chronic disease, with the proper management, the impact of the disease can be reduced. Flare-ups occur when COPD symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough or spitting up mucus get worse or new symptoms develop. Flare-ups are the most common cause of disability and/or hospitalization of COPD patients. They are commonly caused by lung infections. Knowing how to prevent flare-ups of COPD is critical in the management of the disease.

The purpose of this document is to provide a picture of COPD in Prince Edward Island (PEI) so that policymakers, researchers, health practitioners and the general public can make informed public and personal health decisions.


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