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photo courtesy of marin/

photo courtesy of marin/

Your income, location, and gasoline consumption may be some of the factors that increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study conducted at Johns Hopkins.

In a study of over 87,000 participants aged 40 and over, the risk of COPD in poor or rural communities was nearly 12 percent. The nationwide average is 7 percent.

COPD is an umbrella term for emphysema, which causes inflammation of air sacs, excessive mucous, and chronic bronchitis, and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

According to the study, your risks for emphysema are increased by any of the following:

  • Poverty
  • Living in the southern United States
  • Community poverty
  • Smoking
  • Burning of biomass fuels (such as for indoor cooking in Third World countries)

The researchers acknowledge that one of the main difficulties in studying COPD is the fact that it is mainly self-reported. Therefore the number of those affected may be much higher than reported.

Advocates of community action against COPD claim that taxation of cigarettes and anti-smoking campaigns may be an effective tool for lowering COPD rates.

Do you or someone you love have COPD? See if you qualify for IMMUNOe’s clinical research study on COPD today!\