COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is a progressive respiratory condition often associated with a family of different diseases, including emphysema, asthmatic bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. COPD is generally linked to tobacco smoking and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, as reported by the Cleveland Clinic.
COPD limits airflow in and out of the lungs, causing a lower amount of oxygen delivery to the blood. Lower oxygen delivery causes more work for the heart and as a result, patients suffering from the condition may develop further pulmonary disorders. According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, while the World Health Organization estimates that COPD caused over 3 million deaths worldwide in 2012.