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Risk Factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get COPD with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting COPD are greater in people who have many.

Things that can raise the risk are:

Age

COPD is more common in people who are over 40 years of age. This may be due to long term smoking.

Gender

COPD is more common in men. This may be due to the higher rate of smoking among men.

Smoking

Most people get COPD from smoking tobacco products. People who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk.

Exposure to Pollutants

Chronic exposure to dust, gases, chemicals, and fuels raises the risk of developing COPD. These include smoke from burning wood, charcoal, and crop residue.

Genetic Factors

People with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency are at greater risk of COPD. This is a deficiency of a blood component that runs in families. There are also other gene changes that have been linked to COPD.

Infections

People who had many lung infections when they were children are at higher risk. COPD is also more common in people with tuberculosis and HIV.

References

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). American Lung Association website. Available at: https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd. Accessed April 21, 2022.

COPD. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/copd. Accessed April 21, 2022.

What is COPD? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/copd. Accessed April 21, 2022.