In the United States, there are more than 24 million people who currently suffer from COPD, or according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.3% of the US population.

COPD is a disease that does not discriminate. Though there were notable trends identified in the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data that the CDC analyzed (such as smokers and lower-income individuals being more susceptible to developing COPD), the key point is that a COPD diagnosis can happen to anyone.

There are five states, however, where COPD prevalence is alarmingly high relative to the national average of 6.3%. These states are:

  1. Kentucky 9.3% of the surveyed population.
  2. Alabama 9.1%
  3. Tennessee 8.7%
  4. West Virginia 8%
  5. Oklahoma 8%

Researchers have studies that would back the idea that smoking is a big risk factor, and other factors like age, genetics, and certain occupational chemical or dust exposure can play a role in a person developing COPD.