What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a serious lung disease that over time makes it hard to breathe. You may have also heard COPD called by other names, like emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

What are the facts?
• COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States¹
• >120,000 Americans die each year from COPD¹
• >12 million Americans are diagnosed with COPD¹
• An additional 12 million have the disease and don’t even know it¹

How does COPD affect your lungs?
In people who have COPD the airways – tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs –are partially blocked, making it hard to get air in and out.

Who is at risk for developing COPD?
• Anyone over age 40 and currently smokes, or have ever smoked
• Anyone who has worked or lived around chemicals or fumes
• Persons that have certain genetic conditions

What are the signs and symptoms of COPD?
• Decreasing physical activity
• Constant coughing (“smoker’s cough”)
• Chronic and increasing shortness of breath
• Excess sputum production
• Feeling like you can’t catch your breath
• Not being able to take a deep breath
• Wheezing

Taking action
Everyone at risk for COPD who has a cough, sputum production or shortness of breath should talk to their physician or health care professional about COPD testing.

For more information visit or Rebecca Wills Pulmonary Program Manager: 402-413-3187 or

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
5401 South St.
Lincoln, NE 68506
Phone: (402) 413-3000
Toll-Free: (800) 676-5448