Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Definition

Medical Definition: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Type of lung disease characterized by permanent damage to the tissues of the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes chronic bronchitis, in which the bronchi (large airways) become inflamed and are scarred, and emphysema, in which the alveoli (air sacs very tiny) are damaged. This disease progresses over many years and, usually, the cause is cigarette smoking. Also called COPD.

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