Review Articles

An update on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Natalie Schellack, Gustav Schellack, Richard Omoding
South African Family Practice | Vol 58, No 3 : May/June| a4457 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v58i3.4457 | © 2016 Natalie Schellack, Gustav Schellack, Richard Omoding | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 April 2016 | Published: 01 May 2016

About the author(s)

Natalie Schellack, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Gustav Schellack, Pharmaceutical Industry, South Africa
Richard Omoding, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

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Abstract

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death worldwide. It is a chronic condition which affects the respiratory system and worsens over time. Cigarette smoking and advancing age are the two major risks associated with this disease. It is concerning that the global incidence of this chronic illness is on the rise. Current projections indicate that it will become the third leading cause of death by the year 2020. Inflammatory changes underlie the pathophysiology of COPD. Irreversible damage and progressive narrowing of the air passages follow. COPD is characterised by the progressive loss of lung function. In addition, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease released the latest update on its global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of COPD in 2015. This article provides an overview of the causative risk factors, underlying disease process, pathophysiological changes, and the classification and management of COPD, including the latest perspectives on this highly prevalent condition.

Keywords

chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; COPD; emphysema; LABA; SABA; SAMA; LAMA; methylxanthines

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