Facts and Figures

  • COPD represents an important public health challenge and is a major cause of chronic morbidity and mortality in Scotland and worldwide.
  • The burden of COPD is widely recognised to be underestimated. In the UK, it is estimated that 3 million people have COPD but approximately 2 million are still undiagnosed.
  • COPD is the 2nd most common cause of emergency admission to hospital1.
  • COPD is currently the 4th leading cause of death in the world but is projected to increase to 3rd by 2020.
  • Approx 30,000 COPD deaths in the UK each year  Unfortunately 1 in 12 of these COPD patients die during an emergency admission2.


  1. Right care. Public Health England: NHS Atlas of variation in healthcare for people with respiratory disease. September 2012
  2. NICE CG101. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in over 16s: diagnosis and management (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (update): costing report NICE 2011)

Additional information