COPD is often caused by cigarette smoking. It includes the symptoms of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Although some medications improve breathing, reduce symptoms, and prevent exacerbations, few medications have been shown to reduce the damage to the lungs in people with COPD.
Losartan is a medicine used for treatment of high blood pressure. It has been shown to slow the damage to lungs caused by COPD in animals. We want to learn if Losartan can slow the damage to lungs caused by COPD in people too. Lung damage will be determined from high resolution CT scans of the lungs taken at the beginning and end of the study. We also want to learn if Losartan effects breathing tests. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive Losartan or placebo and be in the study for one year, with clinic visits every 3 months. Participants will be compensated for their time and expenses.