Causes and Risk Factors of COPD

Risk Factors of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is mainly the onset of the blockage of the lung airways. It’s often characterized by poor breathing and long-term respiratory problems. The main complication of COPD is the blockage of airflow to the lungs so it’s often associated with breathing troubles. The onset of COPD is often related to chronic lung damage. It’s also known by the terms “Chronic Bronchitis” and “Emphysema.

Smoking from a young age can cease the growth of the lungs and can permanently damage the airways to the lungs leading to the onset of COPD. Among 10 COPD related deaths 8 are as a result of smoking, as it’s closely related to smoking. That is why it’s termed as “Smokers Cough or Smokers Lung”.

COPD occurs due to the permanent damage of the lung airways. The major causes for COPD onset are long-term exposure to toxic smoke including cigarette smoke. However, cigarette smoking is not the only major cause of the onset of COPD. The following reasons can also be held responsible:

The causes of COPD:

  • Long-term exposure to harmful pollutants present in the air can damage the lung airways and can lead to the onset of COPD.
  • Apart from active and passive smoking, lung airways can also get damaged by frequent exposure to Cadmium, Grain, Silica, Flour Welding, and coal dust. Working in Agricultural, Mining, Construction and Chemical industries can increase the chances of one’s exposure to toxic fumes thus putting one in grave danger.
  • Asthma can be an underlying cause of COPD development. The combination of Asthma and smoking can be deadly enough to permanently damage your lung airways.
  • Certain genetic disorders including alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can lead to the onset of COPD. In this rare genetic disease, the body fails to produce an adequate amount of the lung protecting protein (alpha-1antitrypsin) which leads to severe damage to the lung airways.

The major risk factors of COPD include the following:

  • Long-term exposure to harmful dust, chemicals, and fumes in the workplace can increase your risk of getting COPD.
  • Smoking is the most prominent risk factor for COPD. Active as well as passive smoking can put your life at great risk. According to WHO, in the year 2015, 5.4 million people lost their lives due to COPD. This figure is supposed to rise up to 8.3 million by the year 2030. Among all the COPD patients almost 75% of cases arise due to smoking.
  • Outdoor air pollution contributes to the onset of COPD. Traffic and combustion-related air pollution in urban areas can put your life in grave danger.
  • Exposure to indoor air pollutants that mainly arise during cooking and heating can be a prominent risk factor for COPD.
  • Having a rare genetic disorder known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can often lead to the onset of COPD.
  • Aging is another risk factor for COPD. The life of a smoker gradually walks towards its end with age.
  • The onset of Asthma and other respiratory infections can increase the risk of COPD onset.