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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the umbrella term for lung conditions that limit the airways and cause breathing difficulties(notably chronic bronchitis and emphysema). It mostly affects people over the age of 35, with a particular prevalence amongst the over-70s and those from lower socio-economic groups. More than 500,000 people in Ireland are believed to be living with COPD, although less than half of these have been diagnosed. A decrease in COPD rates due to a societal reduction in smoking 5is likely to be offset by a growing and ageing population, at least in the medium-term. Any initiative that has the potential to benefit such large numbers of people should be properly evaluated.

Exercise, COPD & Me is a group-based Adapted Physical Activity (APA) programme for people living with COPD, delivered in the community to people from varying backgrounds. Its focus is not on the illness itself, but rather on the promotion of health and fitness.

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