The Two Types Of COPD

Doctors looking at an x-rayChronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is an umbrella term describing two different types of lung diseases.

  • COPD affects about 27 million Americans.
  • One in five Americans over the age of 45 years old has COPD.
  • Ten per cent of all COPD patients in the United States are African American. 
  • About 12 million Americans who have COPD don’t know it.

An individual can develop either or both types of COPD.

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The most common type of COPD is called chronic bronchitis, associated with extensive inflammation and scarring of the small tubes of the lungs.

Another less common type of COPD is called emphysema, associated with permanent destruction of the small air exchange units of the lungs called alveoli.