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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

FEV1 30%, 99% Oxygen When Sedentary, Life Exp

03/08/2010

Question:

My mom is 72 yrs old. She was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema 20 yrs ago. She is on 2 lts of Oxygen 24/7 and has been for 10 years. She is sedentary 95% of the time. Out of breath with the most menial tasks(taking a shower or walking more than 30-40 feet. I know she is getting worse and would just like your opinion as to her life expectancy. I am thinking less than 1 year. Thank you so much for your time and response.

Answer:

NetWellness receives many questions regarding prognosis and life expectancy for persons with COPD and emphysema. It is difficult to determine the severity of your mother's illness without more detailed testing and an examination. Life expectancy in this disease can often be difficult to estimate, even with extensive testing. Prognosis may be optimized with proper medications, oxygen supplementation, pulmonary rehab, and, in a few patients, surgical intervention.

I would encourage your mother to seek expert medical consultation in your area. Please accept our best wishes.

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Response by:

Amy L Pope-Harman, MD Amy L Pope-Harman, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University