chapter  1
33 Pages

COPD: molecular and cellular mechanisms

ByP. J. Barnes

COPD is a major and increasing global health problem, which is currently the 4th commonest cause of death and predicted to become the the 5th commonest cause of disability in the world by 2020. While there have been major advances in the understanding and management of asthma, COPD has been relatively neglected and there are no current therapies that reduce the inevitable progression of this disease. However, because of the enormous burden of disease and escalating health care costs, there is now renewed interest in the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms [1] and a search for new therapies [2], resulting in a re-evaluation of this disease [3].