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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a lung disease that develops over time.  COPD tends to be diagnosed in people over the age of 40.  

The term COPD also includes people diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

COPD can be caused by smoking, genetic reasons, occupational dust and chemicals, second-hand smoke, frequent lung infections as a child, wood smoke and other biomass (animal dung, crop residues) fuel used for cooking. 

When you have COPD, your lungs are obstructed or blocked, making it hard to breathe.  For example, someone with COPD will find it very hard to do simple tasks like walking up stairs.

To receive more information from a certified respiratory educator please call us at 1.866.717.2673. 

Winnipeg and Area - We recommend that you join the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program offered by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  It is a program for people affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis.  Please click here for more information.

Brandon and Area - We recommend you reach out to Prairie Mountain Health's Lung Health Clinic at 204-578-4203 for information about their Lung Health Exercise Classes, Monthly Support Groups, and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Support Group.

Helping the Missing Million

The Lung Association is embarking on a national project aimed at learning more about the challenges that exist in properly diagnosing and treating people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the results of which will help us shape an environment that will support greater patient access, and improved diagnosis and treatment.

An estimated 1.6 million Canadians live with COPD, yet it is believed almost as many have COPD and don’t know it. It is now the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of hospitalization in Canada. This is a disease that places a tremendous burden on patients, caregivers and the healthcare system.

With this in mind, The Lung Association wants to gain insight into the barriers that are preventing people from being diagnosed, and once diagnosed, discover what the challenges are in getting them the best treatment possible.

The first phase of this project – market research to better understand gaps in diagnosis and treatment from a patient and physician perspective – is now complete. We will use these findings to help us inform the white paper and policy recommendations that will be published in the spring.

COPD Survey

Calling all people with COPD!!

We want to involve you or your caregiver in improving care.

If you have COPD or care for someone with COPD, we need your help. Winnipeg, Inter-lake Eastern, and Prairie Mountain health regions are reviewing how care for people with COPD is provided in hospital and after discharge. The goal is to improve the patient experience through patient engagement, self–management, skill development, and better links and transitions between community and hospitals care services.

For this to be done right, we need to hear and learn from those most affected by COPD – people living with COPD and those who care for them. Through a survey we hope to get a broad perspective of what is working and what is not.


People/care givers of those who live with COPD. Specifically, those who have visited an emergency room and/or stayed in hospital in the last year due to their COPD.


You will be invited to provide feedback in regards to your experience with COPD – both in the care you receive and how you manage your condition at home. The survey should take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. We can also offer to ask you the questions over the phone if you prefer that.

To access the online survey, please visit:

To access a paper copy of the survey, please call Neil Johnston at the Lung Association, 204-774-5501 ext 242 or send him an email.

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