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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 1.1 What is COPD?; 1.2 COPD is debilitating and life threatening; 2. Who gets COPD?; 2.1 What's the best method of estimating COPD prevalence?; 2.2 COPD risk factors; 2.3 Susceptibility to developing COPD; 3. The respiratory system; 3.1 Oxygen is required to release energy from nutrient molecules; 3.2 Oxygen must be obtained from the air; 3.3 Ventilation of the lungs; 3.4 Exchanges of gases between the lungs and the blood; 3.5 Transporting oxygen around the body; 3.6 The blood circulation; 3.7 The exchange of gases between the blood and the body tissues; 3.8 Supplying sufficient oxygen to the tissues; 4. Airborne particles damage lung function; 4.1 The immune system: the body's natural defence; 4.2 Inflammation protects wounds against infection; 4.3 Defensive cells; 4.4 Inflammation can get out of control; 4.5 Chronic inflammation permanently damages the lungs; 4.6 Free radicals in smoke can directly damage tissues; 4.7 The consequences of lung damage; 5. Diagnosing COPD; 5.1 Imaging COPD; 5.2 Airflow tests to assess lung function; 6. Managing COPD; 6.1 How COPD affects patients' lives; 6.2 Treatments for COPD; 7. Recognising a forgotten killer

About the Author


Dr Carol Midgley joined the Open University in 2005 as a lecturer in Health Science, where her research laboratory carries out research into proteins that control cell division. Previously, a career in research science at the Universities of Oxford and Dundee contributed to the publication of over 40 research papers in the field of cancer cell biology. Carol has also worked for Cyclacel Ltd, where she supported and directed several programmes that are now taking novel drugs into clinical trials.

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