How Having COPD Affects Life Expectancy

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for two serious lung diseases: emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  How patients are affected by COPD will depend on a number of factors including the stage of their COPD, their age, lifestyle choices, how they respond to medication, and general overall health.

MORE: The four stages of COPD.

One of the first questions people tend to ask when they receive a diagnosis of COPD is how long they have to live. However, there is no way to accurately predict how long any individual will live with the disease. According to, those with mild forms of the disease who don’t smoke and look after their health may live as long as a person without COPD. For those with more severe cases, there are things that a person with COPD can do to extend their life and improve their quality of life, according to the Lung Institute.

Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a COPD patient can do to extend their life. Enrolling in a pulmonary rehabilitation course will educate patients on their disease, how to best manage it on a daily basis, as well as provide dietary advice and a tailored exercise plan to help them enjoy life.

MORE: Benefits of the COPD Foundation’s pulmonary rehabilitation program.

COPD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.