As of 2014, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease admitted to an intensive care unit have a death rate of 24 percent, states MedicineNet. If that person is over 65, this death rate doubles. Patients with COPD who have lung transplants have a life expectancy of about five years.
If a person with COPD doesn't stop smoking, develops heart failure or has a tough time doing daily activities, he has a very low life expectancy, notes MedicineNet. Doctors rank COPD into four different stages, states Lung Institute. Patients in the stage 1 have mild COPD, and their life expectancies stay close to normal if they remain in good health. Patients in stage 4 have the shortest life expectancy.