COPD: Lung Damage Starts Earlier Than Previously Thought

A recent study found that permanent lung damage caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) starts much earlier than previously thought, even before patients start showing symptoms.

The findings, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, could dramatically change how patients are treated for the progressive lung condition.

Dr. Tillie-Louise Hackett, a researcher at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s Hospital and her research team made the discovery. They found that patients diagnosed with mild COPD have already lost a significant portion of their small airways – more than 40 per cent on average.