Genetics of COPD

Published on March 5, 2014   36 min

Other Talks in the Series: Advances in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Hello, my name is Professor Ian Hall. I'm the dean at the University of Nottingham Medical School. And today I'm going to talk to you about the genetics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
COPD accounts for over 900,000 patients within the UK. 30,000 people die of this disease every year in the UK. And the health care costs to the National Health Service are in the order of half a billion pounds per year. In the USA, in 2006, 12 million adults had COPD. And over 670,000 hospital admissions were recorded due to COPD. Over 120,000 people will die of COPD in any given year in the USA. Globally, it is the fourth leading cause of death and is set to rise to the third leading cause of death in the next few years. This is partly because of the increased life expectancy of people in the developing world and the onset of COPD in people who are in their later years.
COPD is defined as the presence of irreversible airflow obstruction with a ratio between the forced expiratory volume in one second and the forced vital capacity of less than 70%, and a reduction in the FEV1 itself. Criteria based upon the severity of airflow obstruction have been used for many years to assess the severity of COPD. These are known as the GOLD criteria. Although these have recently been revised to take into account the exacerbation frequency in addition to the severity of airflow obstruction. Histopathological changes present in the lungs of patients with COPD tend to show either small airway destruction or emphysema, or narrowing of the small or medium-sized airways due to chronic bronchitis.