Drug therapy slows breathing decline in chronic lung disease

For the first time, a major study shows that currently available inhaled medications can slow the deadly loss of lung function in COPD — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

As we age, our lungs work less and less well. But this process greatly accelerates in people with COPD, for whom breathing becomes progressively more difficult.

In the U.S., some 85% of people with COPD are smokers. Until now, quitting smoking has been the only proven way to slow COPD-related loss of lung function.

Patients still need to quit smoking. But now it’s clear that an aggressive treatment already being used by many doctors helps COPD patients breathe better.

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