COPD Epidemiology and Natural History

  • L. Allegra
  • P. Tarsia


Since the 1950s numerous consensus statements have been issued in the attempt to reach rational definitions and uniform terminology of diseases involving the lower airways [1-7]. These definitions represent a mixture of clinical, pathological and functional descriptions. The terms “chronic bronchitis” and “emphysema” date further back in time and are widely accepted. By the 1820s emphysema had been well defined, clearly described, and recognised to be common. The diagnosis of chronic bronchitis was first applied in 1805 to patients with chronic cough, breathlessness, and recurrent exacerbations during winter months. Conversely, a variety of definitions have been put forward to incorporate the concept of obstruction to airflow and chronic sputum production. Among these,“chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” (COPD) is certainly the most widely accepted.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Lung Function Chronic Bronchitis Respir Crit Airflow Obstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Allegra
    • 1
  • P. Tarsia
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Respiratory DiseasesUniversity of Milan, IRCCS Ospedale MaggioreMilanItaly
  2. 2.Division of Emergency MedicineIRCCS Ospedale MaggioreMilanItaly

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