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How common is emphysema?

More than 4 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with emphysema. Most of them are smokers. In fact, people who have a deficiency of the protein alpha-1 antitrypsin, which can also result in emphysema, only account for about 2 to 3 percent of the population who suffer from the disease. Emphysema is also more common in men, possibly because men smoke more than women, and in people over the age of 40. Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which kills about 135,000 Americans annually.

Continue Learning about Emphysema

How do other illnesses affect emphysema?
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There are a number of illnesses that may affect your emphysema by making symptoms worse. The flu, pn...
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Does emphysema get worse over time?
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Emphysema will get progressively worse over time. It is a form of a serious condition called chronic...
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What is an emphysematous bleb?
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The lung contains many millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli. These air sacs have a thin, fragile...
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What is pulmonary interstitial emphysema (PIE) in babies?
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Pulmonary interstitial emphysema (PIE) occurs when pressure from a ventilator causes air to leak fro...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.