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COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and causes serious, long-term disability. And the number of people with COPD is increasing. More than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million likely have the disease and don't even know it.
You've taken the first step by being aware of your symptoms and seeing a doctor or health care provider for testing and diagnosis. Now that you know you have COPD, your doctor or health care provider can suggest treatment options and ways to help you manage COPD and improve your quality of life.
For additional information on COPD, visit the NHLBI's Diseases and Conditons Index, Medline Plus or the American Lung Association's COPD information section.