Recently, scientists have made considerable progress in understanding the underlying causes of COPD and other respiratory diseases. Even if breakthrough medical advances could eliminate heart disease and cancer, we will still have to contend with respiratory diseases. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a term for a subset of several types of respiratory diseases, including bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is the second largest category of respiratory disease and can also cause pulmonary arterial hypertension, which in turn can contribute to heart disease. Many lung diseases are related to each other, and respiratory disease is a significant health burden.
Significant respiratory diseases in the elderly include mesothelioma, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary embolisms, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and pneumonia, which can be fatal.
One characteristic of COPD and other lung diseases is a condition known as pulmonary hypertension, in which blood vessels in the lungs become clogged.