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Clinical Guidelines



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that makes breathing difficult. COPD is a broad term that covers several lung conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It usually develops because of long-term damage to the lungs from breathing in a harmful substance (such as cigarette smoke or chemical fumes). Around 835,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with COPD, but it is thought that there are about 2 million people living with the disease who have not been diagnosed.