Breathlessness is the most significant symptom of COPD, but it usually does not occur until the sixth decade of life (although it may occur much earlier). By the time the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) has fallen to 50% of predicted, the patient is usually breathless upon minimal exertion. In fact, the FEV1 is the most common variable used to grade the severity of COPD, although it is not the best predictor of mortality. Other prominent symptoms include productive cough or acute chest illness and wheezing.
For more on the presentation of COPD, read here.
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Cite this: Amanda M. K. Godfrey, Zab Mosenifar. Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About COPD? - Medscape - May 27, 2020.