COPD basics

COPD is a chronic condition that will likely get worse over time. COPD can also put you at higher risk for other health problems.

Knowing the risks can help you and your doctor identify and respond to these conditions:

  • depression
  • frequent chest infections (such as pneumonia and the flu)
  • heart problems
  • higher-than-usual blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs (also called "pulmonary hypertension")
  • losing body mass and muscles, loss of appetite, feeling nauseous and weak
  • lung cancer
  • thinning of the bones
  • malnutrition (not absorbing nutrients from food, not eating enough)
  • muscle weakness

Optimal treatment can help you manage your COPD, no matter how severe it is. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are on an appropriate COPD treatment that matches how severe your COPD is (e.g., mild, moderate, or severe).