Study: COPD risk higher than thought

September 9, 2011 2:31:49 PM PDT
One in four people have a chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study in a journal, The Lancet.

That risk is higher than previously thought.

COPD includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. This study determined the overall risk for developing it surpasses that of heart failure as well as breast and prostate cancer.

Scientists call COPD one of the most deadly, prevalent and costly chronic diseases. They add this study should be used to combat the disease and justify the continuation of stop smoking programs.