COPD: Risk Factors

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Exposure to tobacco smoke, people with asthma who smoke, occupational exposure to dust and chemicals, exposure to fumes, age, and genetics are risk factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Dr. Keith Jamal Robinson, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says only 20% of smokers develop COPD. “But the folks who have a diagnosis, 80% were smokers. It is clearly a risk factor.

Transcript
Would you have a list here of some risk factors for COPD take a look at this exposure to tobacco of course at what percentage of people who have COPD smoke you know I hate to say this out loud okay then only sorry only 20% of smokers actually develops you okay but the folks who have a diagnosis of COPD 80% of those folks were smokers okay so cigarette smoking is clearly a risk factor and I think the idea that we can get folks away from injuring their lung early means hopefully that I’ve not ever picked up a cigarette in the first place so we do a large amount mostly with our kids to make sure that they’re aware that smoking is not a behavior that they want to take up and then people with asthma who smoke now that just just just sounds like a bad combination it’s not a good combination I think just having asthma alone increases the chances that you’ll develop COPD and so adding a further injury by smoking just increases the chance that you’ll lose a lot of lung function occupational exposure to dust and chemicals we discussed that exposure to fumes so yeah there are some industries where vapors create a gas that can’t be seen so we call that outdoor pollution most patients actually have increased risk of inflammation in the lung as well okay age and genetics ah the old age and the genetics the things you can’t control it all we all lose lung function every year yeah three tablespoons a year and so you know I think as we age and get into our 80s over the few decades you’re gonna lose enough lung function to qualify as having COPD and then there are some unfortunate protein deficiencies that can lead towards increased loss of lung function you
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