There are currently 24 million Americans living with a severe and deadly condition. The nature of this disorder causes the lungs to deteriorate and makes every breath an effort. As the years progress, the condition ultimately takes its final toll upon its sufferer. This is the nature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly known as COPD.

COPD encompasses two very different conditions known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but both conditions are characterized by a restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs that makes breathing difficult. To this day, there is no cure for COPD. Treatment is available to help stop the progression, but that is pretty much it. While many patients with COPD know there is no cure for the disease, many people will ask the very same question: how long do I have? Let’s talk about the life expectancy with COPD.

The Facts: How Long Do Most People Have?


Let’s go ahead and clear the air, shall we? When talking about the progression of COPD, there is the unfortunate fact that death will occur at some point in the span of the patient’s condition. This post is meant to highlight an all too common question asked by patients:  What is my life expectancy with COPD?

There is no simple answer or rule when estimating the life expectancy of someone suffering from COPD. Having such a severe and progressive lung disorder will shorten your lifespan, but this depends on a number of variables, like the overall health of a person, the other medical conditions they have developed and their lifestyle and habits. One method that doctors and researchers have developed for measuring life expectancy is with the GOLD System. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease developed a measurement system that helps track the progression of COPD by stages (also called grades). Here are the stages/grades:

  • Stage (Grade) 1 – very mild COPD
  • Stage (Grade) 2 – moderate COPD
  • Stage (Grade) 3 – severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis
  • Stage (Grade) 4 – very severe COPD

Each stage or grade has a different impact on each sufferer, but the general idea is the higher the stage of COPD, the shorter the life expectancy. Another system that doctor’s use to measure life expectancy with COPD is with the BODE Index. This system of measurement keeps track of your body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea (trouble breathing) and your exercise capacity. Here is a calculator that can demonstrate the BODE Index.

COPD Life Expectancy

According to one study, scientists found that people with COPD had a much increased chance of mortality than those who do not suffer from the disorder. Using the GOLD System, researchers kept track for years of patients with COPD. The results also found that current or ongoing smokers have a shorter life expectancy than patients that quit.

What Can I Do to Treat COPD?

Lung Health Institute offers cellular therapy (PRP-PBMC), which may help improve overall lung health in patients with chronic lung disorders, including COPD and emphysema. When patients receive PRP-PBMC cellular therapy, a sample of the patient’s own blood is taken for the cells to be separated and isolated. Concentrated cells are then returned into the bloodstream to flow naturally from the heart to the lungs, where they may begin to help improve overall lung health. While these conditions have no cure, cellular therapy may help improve overall lung health, potentially allowing patients to Breathe Easier and improve their quality of life.

The goal of any treatment for chronic lung disorders is to help with the management of symptoms and potentially:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve your ability to breathe easier
  • Improve overall lung function.

According to a recent peer reviewed publication, 2 out of 3 COPD patients who had cellular therapy treatment experienced an improvement and/or no decline in their FEV1 at 3 months after treatment. Additionally, 83% of COPD patients surveyed after receiving one treatment experienced a quality-of-life improvement at 3 months after treatment.

Where can I learn more about Center for Respiratory Health’s treatment options for COPD patients? 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers is here to discuss cellular therapy options and answer your questions today. Our goal is to ensure a smooth patient experience on your journey to BREATHE EASIER. Contact us at 866-638-4776 or fill out our short form to speak with a Patient Care Specialist.

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.