Key figures and prevalence of COPD

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is one of the most well-known diseases in the United States, affecting over 15 million people or 6% of the total population.


This illness occurs with various degrees of severity and workplace exposure is quite important. Approximately 15% of patients have contracted COPD on their workplace, which would be equivalent to 4,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the United States

In the United States, this illness is responsible for at least 124,000 deaths a year, which is just under triple the number of people who are killed in car accidents.

Projections from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that by 2020, COPD will be the fifth leading cause of death in the world and the fifth leading cause of disability. Furthermore, this illness takes a heavy financial toll on society as it is the number one cause of respiratory-related health care spending.

Women are more susceptible to develop the disease at an early age and to exhibit more severe forms. A small minority twenty years ago, women now account for nearly half of all patients.

Last updated: 7/27/18

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