Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a general term used to describe chronic lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which cause limitations in lung airflow. Common symptoms of COPD include breathlessness (“need for air”), a chronic cough, and larger than normal amounts of sputum.1

The World Health Organization estimates that COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.2 The prevalence of COPD in the HNHB LHIN is 5.3%, which is higher than the provincial average of 3.8%.2

Each year in the HNHB LHIN, people with COPD:

  • Visit a hospital emergency department over 5,000 times
  • Are admitted to a hospital over 3,000 times
  • Are readmitted to hospital within 30 days 20% of the time
  • Are readmitted to hospital within 3 months 34% of the time

To enhance the healthcare experience and improve the coordination of services for individuals with COPD in our region, the HNHB LHIN, in partnership with local health service providers, has developed the Caring for my COPD program.

Learn More

1. World Health Organization. (2014). Chronic respiratory diseases: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Available at:

2. Canadian Community Health Survey. (2012).