Pulmonologist | Pulmonary Disease Questions COPD

ā€œWho is at risk of getting COPD?ā€

I have a family history of COPD, and I currently smoke. I'm 45 years old, and have been smoking for at least 10 years. Am I at a higher risk of getting COPD? What should I do to help me drop the habit?

6 Answers

Smoking is the biggest risk factor, but if there is a family history or COPD happens at 50 or so, get an alpha 1 antitrypsin level on a blood test as this genetic form can be helped.


Dr. Lipkis
Yes you are definitely at risk of developing COPD. There are medications both prescription and over the counter but the most powerful tool is your mind. You have to be ready and be completely on board. You need to also avoid triggers for starting back and have a plan in place ahead of time.
Iā€™m a little bit at a time person. You know the risks - you know you are at a high risk for not only lung cancer BUT also COPD. I argue that is worse. Decide what is important to you. Time or quality of time. Good luck - I will be here to support you. - DR K
Yes, you are at higher risk compared with normal populations. There are multiple ways to quit smoking. Nicoderm, nicotine gum or medication are helpful
Smoking is a well known risk factor for COPD; there is a strong association between cigarette smoking and the development of COPD, and this association is proportional to both amount and duration of smoking. Of course, smoking is also a well known risk factor multiple other disorders, including heart disease. The best recommendation at this point is to try stop smoking. Nowadays, we have a number of tools to help patients stop smoking, including nicotine patches and oral medications such as Chantix.
Everyone who smokes is at risk for developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD. The more cigarettes that you smoke over time, the greater the likelihood of developing COPD. Air pollution, second hand smoke, and exposure to other airborne particles such as cooking smoke can also cause COPD. You are correct to be concerned about a family history of COPD. Some people have genetic factors that place them at greater risk of developing COPD. So if family members have COPD, there is a good chance that you are more susceptible to the damage caused by smoke. It is also likely that if your parents smoked, you have had a lot of exposure to "second hand" smoke as a child. Less commonly, there is a genetic abnormality called alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency that, when present, can cause lung and liver disease even without exposure to toxins. To prevent yourself from developing COPD, or to prevent your existing COPD from getting worse, it is critically important to stop smoking. Chantix is a medication that has shown a lot of efficacy for smoking cessation. Other options include a medication called bupropion (Wellbutrin) and nicotine replacement patches and gum. Of course, "cold turkey" is also a good way to go. The physical addiction to nicotine goes away after only two weeks of withdrawal. You might be grouchy for a couple of weeks, though. After the first two weeks, keeping away from cigarettes usually means finding another activity to do with your hands or your mouth, such as chewing gum or using a fidget spinner. It is also important to get support from family and friends so they can keep you on the right track.
Good luck, you can do it.