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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not just one disease; rather, it is an umbrella term for a group of diseases that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and certain types of asthma. Possible symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
A diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is typically based on a physical examination and the results of several tests. Since the biggest cause and risk factor for the disease is tobacco use, people who smoke and have COPD are advised to immediately quit. Medications and other remedies may also be used.
(For more info, click Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This article discusses topics such as tests used to make a diagnosis, ways in which COPD may be prevented, other causes, and important statistics.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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