Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (COPD) is a combination of emphysema and bronchitis. People who smoke are most likely to get it. It shortens life. I read an article about COPD in the health section of the NY Times.
COPD can be treated, but it won't go away. The article said that COPD was under-diagnosed, that doctors don't look for it. Also, the article said, a number of things, like increased exercise and improvements in diet can alleviate the condition.