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HHS Healthbeat

Fighting for air

About 24 million Americans have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which can make it hard to breathe. Even grocery shopping can leave them struggling for air.

People who don’t realize they have COPD might think they’re just growing old, or they’re out of shape. But COPD’s causes are, notably, smoking – and other things that irritate the lungs, such as living or working around dust or chemicals.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Letitia Presley-Cantrell:

“If you are at risk for COPD, and have a constant cough, excess mucus production, shortness of breath, or wheezing, you should be tested for the disease.” (9 seconds)

A simple test measures how much air you can blow out, and how fast.

Learn more at hhs.gov.

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