18 doctors weighed in:

Does COPD affect older adults?

18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

COPD is more common in older adults than younger ones.
It is commonly caused by long-term smoking, but can also be caused by a condition called alpha-1-antitrypsin (aat) deficiency. Non-smokers and younger adults who are diagnosed with COPD are strongly urged to get tested for aat deficiency. Some even recommend that any person with COPD should be tested for aat deficiency.

In brief: Yes

COPD is more common in older adults than younger ones.
It is commonly caused by long-term smoking, but can also be caused by a condition called alpha-1-antitrypsin (aat) deficiency. Non-smokers and younger adults who are diagnosed with COPD are strongly urged to get tested for aat deficiency. Some even recommend that any person with COPD should be tested for aat deficiency.
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Dr. Yoram Padeh
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Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Although exceptions of course exist, COPD generally affects those in their 50s and up, related to long term exposure to cigarette smoke.

In brief: Yes

Although exceptions of course exist, COPD generally affects those in their 50s and up, related to long term exposure to cigarette smoke.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Dr. Dean Giannone
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Dr. Susan Besser
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Yes, COPD can affect older adults.
However, it can affect younger people. People who smoke are at risk for copd, the heavier you smoke, the younger the problem. People with other lung diseases such as asthma are also at risk for copd.

In brief: Yes

Yes, COPD can affect older adults.
However, it can affect younger people. People who smoke are at risk for copd, the heavier you smoke, the younger the problem. People with other lung diseases such as asthma are also at risk for copd.
Dr. Susan Besser
Dr. Susan Besser
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sometimes...

COPD is usually caused by smoking and it is usually diagnosed when someone smokes a lot of cigarettes, smokes for a long time or both.
The diagnosis depends on the smoking history. There is a form of COPD that is diagnosed at a younger age, alpha-1-anti trypsin deficiency, caused by an enzyme deficiency.

In brief: Sometimes...

COPD is usually caused by smoking and it is usually diagnosed when someone smokes a lot of cigarettes, smokes for a long time or both.
The diagnosis depends on the smoking history. There is a form of COPD that is diagnosed at a younger age, alpha-1-anti trypsin deficiency, caused by an enzyme deficiency.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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In brief: Usually but not 100%

COPD usually does affect older people especially those with a long history of tobacco smoking.
However, it can also affect young people who either have a specific genetic deficiency or work in a very high dust/powder, aerosol pollution job without proper breathing protection.

In brief: Usually but not 100%

COPD usually does affect older people especially those with a long history of tobacco smoking.
However, it can also affect young people who either have a specific genetic deficiency or work in a very high dust/powder, aerosol pollution job without proper breathing protection.
Dr. Richard Williams
Dr. Richard Williams
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Dr. Michael DePietro
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care

In brief: Yes

Typically COPD affects older people and is very uncommon before the age of 40.

In brief: Yes

Typically COPD affects older people and is very uncommon before the age of 40.
Dr. Michael DePietro
Dr. Michael DePietro
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Dr. Maureen Nash
Psychiatry - Geriatric

In brief: Yes

In fact, COPD also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is more common in older adults.
It is often seen in people who have smoked many years though it can also be caused by other things.

In brief: Yes

In fact, COPD also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is more common in older adults.
It is often seen in people who have smoked many years though it can also be caused by other things.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Dr. Maureen Nash
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Dr. Kristi Moffat
Family Medicine

In brief: Yes

It definitely affects some older adults, especially if they have ever smoked.
Smokers of any age are at risk for copd.

In brief: Yes

It definitely affects some older adults, especially if they have ever smoked.
Smokers of any age are at risk for copd.
Dr. Kristi Moffat
Dr. Kristi Moffat
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Dr. Paige Gutheil
Family Medicine

In brief: Yes

The risk of COPD increases with age, but the strongest predictors of risk for COPD are how many packs of cigarettes one has smoked/ been exposed to and whether one has a specific enzyme deficiency (called Alpha one antitrypsin) that runs in families.
After 20 years of smoking 1 pack per day or even less, one can have a significant risk for COPD so this could happen at a fairly young age.

In brief: Yes

The risk of COPD increases with age, but the strongest predictors of risk for COPD are how many packs of cigarettes one has smoked/ been exposed to and whether one has a specific enzyme deficiency (called Alpha one antitrypsin) that runs in families.
After 20 years of smoking 1 pack per day or even less, one can have a significant risk for COPD so this could happen at a fairly young age.
Dr. Paige Gutheil
Dr. Paige Gutheil
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Dr. Andrew Carroll
Family Medicine

In brief: Yes

The incidence of COPD goes up as people age.
The disease is essentially an accumulation of lung damage over years. It is unusual to see COPD in a young person. COPD is much more likely to affect older adults than younger.

In brief: Yes

The incidence of COPD goes up as people age.
The disease is essentially an accumulation of lung damage over years. It is unusual to see COPD in a young person. COPD is much more likely to affect older adults than younger.
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Dr. Andrew Carroll
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