A lot of Folks consider breathlessness as a normal sign of getting older. However, COPD although more common in older people can happen to folks younger than 40.
When people are younger, their lungs are still in a generally healthy state. It takes several years for COPD to develop.
There are certain genetic conditions, such as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, that can predispose younger people to developing COPD. If you develop symptoms of COPD at a very young age, typically under 40 years of age, your physician may screen for this condition.
The progression of the disease can vary slightly, so it’s more important to focus on possible COPD symptoms rather than solely on the age you might get it.
So what is the prognosis? That's up to you. If you stop smoking, take your medications, get exercise, watch your weight (neither too thin nor too heavy), and use oxygen therapy when recommended - you may live a full number of years. You'll certainly live a better quality of Life no matter what your age!