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Background & Significance
Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The high disease prevalence and associated medical expenditure impose socioeconomic burdens on many countries. In Asian countries, the situation seems to be particularly bad because of high smoking prevalence rates, air pollution, and exposure to occupational noxious gases.
COPD shows heterogeneous features varying from small airway inflammation to lung parenchymal destruction. Such heterogeneity might arise from differences in either or both disease etiology and patient genetic background.
The pathogenesis of COPD heterogeneity could be revealed by COPD research conducted in several countries, where patients may have been exposed to different disease etiologies and are of various genetic backgrounds. Research on such heterogeneity is important as treatment targeting small airway COPD differs from that for lung parenchyma COPD.
Better understanding COPD heterogeneity and overcoming COPD requires collaborative COPD research in various Asian countries.

Characterization of COPD heterogeneity by genes, etiology, symptoms, physiology, and morphology.

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