Current strategies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease management
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common condition characterized by persistent, progressive airflow obstruction. It is an irreversible process that contributes increasingly to the mortality rates across the globe. COPD is currently the third leading cause of death. Various environmental exposures play a role in the development of COPD, but, by far, smoking is the greatest risk factor. The main objectives in COPD management are eliminating risk factors, symptom control, decreasing the rate of lung function decline, preventing exacerbations and early detection of lung cancer. Modern COPD management requires a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes various pharmacological, behavioral and surgical modalities. Very few treatment options have an impact on mortality and lung function decline. New therapeutic methods are continuously sought.