Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases
COPD is the name for a group of conditions with the lungs that make it difficult to breath properly. The most common are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Most people that have COPD don’t realise they do, as the disease is progressive. It starts off as just a simple cough, and develops slowly worse and worse.
A look at the graph of Irish mortality in 30-49 year olds from this disease shows that although it's not linear, there is a generally downward trend in mortality:
The main symptoms of COPD are frequent chest infections, persistent coughs with phlegm, breathlessness when doing anything active, and persistent wheezing.
The most common causes of COPD are smoking and air pollution, such as from poorly ventilated fires. Over a long time, the lungs inflame in response to the irritants.
5.62% of all deaths in 2015 were from COPD. Mostly (90%) in developing countries.
To avoid COPD, don’t smoke, ventilate your working and living areas properly, and live in an area that is not chronically air-polluted.
The World Health Organisation expects the number of deaths from COPD to increase by 60% by 2030, because of the aging population in the world, and because of smoking in developing countries.