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COPD strikes 6.4% of Americans. While smoking is a big contributor, these seven other risk factors deserve more attention.
COPD strikes 15.7 million Americans (6.4%), while at least as many have low lung function still undiagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), reports the CDC. Approximately 90% of those cases may be caused by cigarette smoking, according to the American Lung Association. Each butt has a major but: The release of 7,000 toxins that expose lungs to infections, narrow air passages, and ignite inflammation-all contributors to COPD.
Managed care organizations also should be on high alert for lesser known culprits. Here are seven more factors to blame for this costly progressive disease: