Epidemiology for public health
Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Epidemiology for public health - ISS

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a respiratory disease characterized by varying degrees of irreversible airway obstruction, depending on its severity. The disease is usually progressive and associated with chronic inflammation of the lung tissue. The long-term impact of COPD is an alteration of airway shape, which results in significantly reduced breathing capacity.


The clinical picture includes increased susceptibility to respiratory infections of viral, bacterial or fungal origin. There is currently no effective cure, but various treatments are available to help manage symptoms and prevent dangerous complications. However, prevention is essential to minimize the risk factors (in particular, cigarette smoke).

Publication date: 28 December 2020