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COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

COPD describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because the airways have become narrowed. In this section you will find information about what COPD is, the symptoms you might get, and how it’s diagnosed and treated.

We have also included tips about controlling breathing and how to manage flare-ups, also called exacerbations.

Have you just been diagnosed? Read our overview to help you find the information you need.

Breathe Easy group

Find out if there is a Asthma + Lung UK Support group or Singing for Lung Health group running in your area here. Some of our groups are currently meeting online and some are face to face.

Find support in your area

UK map

More people have COPD in the north of the UK than the south

Statistics about COPD

Chart down

The number of people being diagnosed with COPD is falling

Statistics about COPD


The less well-off you are, the more likely you are to get COPD

Statistics about COPD


Nearly 40% of calls to our helpline are about COPD

Speak to our helpline