What is the prognosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Paul Kleinschmidt, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 32 million adults. It is also the sixth leading cause of death worldwide. [2]

Patient's age and postbronchodilator FEV1 are the most important predictors of prognosis. Young age and FEV1 greater than 50% of predicted are associated with a good prognosis. Older patients and those with more severe lung disease do worse.

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