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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Severe emphysema

07/22/2008

Question:

My father has been diagosed with severe Emphysema and they told him he only has 23% Lung cap. He will not stop smoking and does not exercise. How long can he live if he keeps going like this?

Answer:

The natural history of COPD is variable from person to person. The lung capacity alone is not enough to be a good predictor of mortality. One of the best tools to predict risk of death from COPD is "the BODE index". This takes into account a person's weight, lung capacity (FEV1), shortness of breath level, and exercise tolerance (six-minute walk distance). I would suggest you try to attend a doctor's appointment with your Father and discuss where your father falls within the BODE index.

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Response by:

Gretchen   Whitby, APRN Gretchen Whitby, APRN
Nurse Practitioner of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University