Research from the University of Copenhagen reveals that accelerated decline of lung function may not be a prerequisite for COPD.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of most common causes of death in the world today — active smoking accounting for approx. 85% of all cases. Yet ground-breaking research from the University of Copenhagen indicates that accelerated decline of lung function is not a prerequisite for COPD.

It has been generally assumed that all people suffering COPD experience an accelerated decline of lung function, which is why so many large studies have focused on reducing this decline. However, this new study reveals that this is the case for only approx. 50% of patients with COPD, whereas the remaining 50% develop the disease with close to normal lung function decline.

“This long-term chronic disease can be developed in different ways, so achieving normal growth in lung function in early adulthood is an important factor in terms of future risk,” says Peter Lange, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Hvidovre Hospital and professor at the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.

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