A common lung condition that often overlaps with heart disease

Image: iStock

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is on the rise. Should you be tested for it?

For nearly half a century, the top three causes of death in the United States were heart disease, cancer, and stroke. But a slow, steady drop in deaths from stroke and a gradual rise in fatalities from lung disease have shifted that long-held order. In 2008, chronic lower respiratory diseases rose to third place on the list of leading killers.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »