Burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Healthcare costs and beyond

Sara M. May, James T.C. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive and debilitating respiratory condition that leads to significant burden, both medically and financially. It affects millions of people worldwide and causes significant morbidity and mortality. Most detailed information related to its prevalence, morbidity, and mortality comes from high-income countries, but 90% of COPD-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for developing COPD, but other risk factors do exist and need to be recognized. A majority of morbidity and mortality as well as health care costs occur from acute exacerbations of COPD with a known phenotype of patients being "frequent exacerbators." Health care costs for COPD are not only from treatment of exacerbations, such as hospitalization, but also medication costs for maintenance therapy and outpatient treatment. COPD has been linked with many comorbidities leading to significant burden of disease. The goal of this review is to evaluate the overall burden of disease including prevalence, morbidity, mortality, health care costs, and economic costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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