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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

SILVA O, RAFAEL. Update on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.12, pp.1544-1552. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872010001300012.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), mainly caused by smoking, is predicted to be the third most frequent cause of death in the world by 2020. It is a multicomponent, progressive, disabling condition that ultimately ends in respiratory failure and death. There is evidence that systemic inflammation and extra pulmonary effects are also common in COPD, although the association between systemic inflammation and systemic manifestations of COPD is still not entirely clear. COPD is not only preventable but also treatable and the past decade has witnessed great progress in COPD research. New drugs have been developed and tested and a growing base of scientifc evidence now documents the efficacy of several therapies for symptoms and exacerbations. It is clear that many patients with the disease can beneft from an aggressive management, with a decrease in the frequency of hospitalizations and improvements in symptoms and quality of life. Moreover, basic and clinical scientists have now identifed cells, mechanisms, and molecules that play key roles in its pathogenesis. The advent of newer and more effective therapies will lead to a decline in the contribution of this disease to worldwide disease burden. COPD is now viewed under a new paradigm as preventable and treatable.

Keywords : Cause of death; Clinical protocols; Pulmonary disease; chronic obstructive.

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