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Breathe Easy

When it comes to men’s health, there are plenty of diseases on our radar for prevention and early detection. But when it comes to lung disease, is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on your radar?

First of all, what is COPD? It is an obstructive lung disease that, over time, makes it hard to breathe. The disease involves inflammation and thickening of the airways and the destruction of the tissue of the lung where oxygen is exchanged.

What many patients, both men and women, may not realize is that COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and there is no cure for COPD at this time. More than 11 million people are known to have the illness. While women are outpacing the amount of diagnoses and deaths from COPD, this disease is one for men to be aware of and take action where possible for prevention.

Causes for COPD include smoking (about 80 to 90 percent of COPD diagnoses are related to smoking), air pollution and particulate matter, and for a small number of people, a genetic mutation known as Alpha-1.

The good news is that the American Lung Association provides a wealth of information including symptoms, educational resources, and tools for those concerned or diagnosed with COPD.

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