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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Chronic Bronchitis

Description: Chronic bronchitis is characterized by structural changes in the airways of the lungs and enlargement of the mucous glands, which cause coughing and production of sputum. Since chronic bronchitis often coincides with emphysema, it is often difficult for a physician to distinguish between the two.

Symptoms: Chronic bronchitis causes shortness of breath and is often accompanied by infection, mucus production, and coughing. A diagnosis of chronic bronchitis is usually made when a patient experiences coughing with sputum on most days for at least three months of a year, for a minimum of two years.

Number of Americans diagnosed: About ten million people have chronic bronchitis.

Long-term problems/treatments: Lying down at night worsens the condition; patients with advanced disease must sleep sitting up. In late, severe stages, lack of oxygen causes the skin to have a blue cast (cyanosis) and the body becomes swollen from fluid accumulation caused by congestive heart failure.
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Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic Bronchitis: Primary Care Management

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