COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. COPD gradually robs people of the ability to breathe.
It is estimated that half of the 24 million people in the United States who may have COPD remain undiagnosed. Many symptoms of COPD, like shortness of breath, are confused with normal signs of aging. For this reason many people delay seeing a health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.