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COPD is fast gaining a reputation as a seriously underdiagnosed disease. 75-80% of cases of COPD is caused by smoking but it can also be caused by toxic particles such as coal dust, agricultural chemicals and woodsmoke. COPD is basically involves a shortness of breath and persistent coughing caused by conditions such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. The disease is underdiagnosed because people fail to seek help when they suffer shortness of breath because the either feel it is unimportant or that it is simply a fact of smoking. A ‘smokers cough’ is the early stages of COPD. Estimated 75% of COPD cases are undiagnosed. The disease is mostly prevalent in people over 35. Symptoms cannot be cured but may be alleviated by quitting smoking, treatment drugs and following an active, healthy lifestyle.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The World Today
About: COPD is Australia 4th highest killer
Date: 17 November 2004
Source: The World Today
Author: Jayne-Maree Sedgeman
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