December 2001
Thorax;Dec2001 Supp, Vol. 56, piii20
Academic Journal
This article presents various studies that explore the relation among symptoms, severity and survival in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Decline in lung function despite smoking cessation is a characteristic feature of COPD. Lower airway bacterial colonization is a recognized stimulus to airway inflammation in COPD. Prognosis in COPD is difficult to predict and we have investigated some of the variables that may influence survival. The rate of decline of lung function correlated with the total number of lower airway bacteria and was independent of the type of organism grown. Higher bacterial counts may lead to increased airway inflammation and thus contribute to more rapid decline in lung function.


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