Allergy Asthma Immunol Res.  2010 Oct;2(4):209-214. 10.4168/aair.2010.2.4.209.

Overlap Between Asthma and COPD: Where the Two Diseases Converge

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 2Research Center for Pulmonary Disorders, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.


Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are traditionally recognized as distinct diseases, with some clearly separate characteristic. Asthma originates in childhood, is associated with allergies and eosinophils, and is best treated by targeting inflammation, whereas COPD occurs in adults who smoke, involves neutrophils, and is best treated with bronchodilators and the removal of risk factors. However, the distinction between the two is not always clear. Patients with severe asthma may present with fixed airway obstruction, and patients with COPD may have hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia. Recognizing and understanding these overlapping features may offer new insight into the mechanisms and treatment of chronic airway inflammatory diseases.


Asthma; COPD; overlap; exacerbation; remodeling
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