Albany Internal Medicine


COPD Risk Factors

 Smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Other things that may irritate the lungs and contribute to COPD include:

  • Working around certain kinds of chemicals and breathing in the fumes for many years
  • Working in a dusty area over many years
  • Heavy exposure to air pollution
  • Secondhand smoke (smoke from other people's cigarettes)

People with a family history of COPD are more likely to get the disease if they smoke.

Rarely, a genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency may play a role in causing COPD.

Most people with COPD are at least 40 years old or around middle age when symptoms begin.