George P. Chandy, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.
Shawn D. Aaron, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine and the Ottawa Health ResearchInstitute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has been increasing in prevalence over the past several decades. The impact of COPD on the health status of Canadians will continue to be a major issue, despite declining rates of smoking, as physiologic manifestations of COPD may only be evident decades after the initiation of smoking. Given the delay between the initiation of smoking and the development of significant disease, COPD is primarily a disease of the older population. While a cure for COPD is not available, a number of medications have been noted to have a significant impact on symptoms, exercise tolerance, and quality of life.
Key words: COPD, treatment, management, older adults.