Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable lung disease which occurs when airflow in and out of the lungs is limited [44721]. COPD mainly impacts middle and older age people and can occur when parts of the respiratory system are damaged, blocked, inflamed or swollen. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are types of COPD, and cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing and tiredness.

COPD develops gradually over time and can be a result of genetic factors, lung growth and development issues, childhood illness or environmental pollution. In addition, smoking is a major risk factor for COPD [44721].

COPD affects many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people [31104] and it is a leading cause of mortality among this population [35151]. Initiatives such as the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program are helping to support positive respiratory health outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by reducing risk factors for the disease.

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Bardil by Hughie Brent

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