Changing smoking patterns and mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the result of many years of accelerated decline in lung function in susceptible cigarette smokers. Although risk factors for the susceptibility of smokers to COPD have been established, there are still large gaps in our knowledge of the biological basis for these risk factors and of how to identify individuals at risk. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death and, in contrast to other major chronic diseases in the United States, has not shown declines in mortality over the past 20 years. Mortality trends reflect patterns of initiation of cigarette smoking that occurred 30 to 50 years previously. Current mortality trends indicate that COPD mortality may be leveling off among white males, but will continue to increase among women, African-Americans, and the elderly. Recent studies indicate that early identification of individuals with airflow obstruction and smoking intervention can halt the progression of COPD, but widespread screening and intervention programs have not yet been established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Gender
  • Mortality
  • Obstructive lung diseases
  • Race
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing smoking patterns and mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this