Almost 3 million people in the UK have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - more than three times those diagnosed, the British Lung Foundation has estimated.
The charity has produced a list of areas most likely to have high numbers with undiagnosed COPD.
It shows that someone living in South Tyneside, Hull, and Barking and Dagenham is more than 1.5 times more likely to be admitted into hospital due to COPD than the national average.
British Lung Foundation chief executive Dame Helena Shovelton said: 'We urge the NHS to use our findings and work with smokers in the COPD hotspots.'
COPD is concentrated in deprived urban areas. The charity estimates the prevalence of COPD in South Tyneside is more than four times that of the Welsh beauty spot Ceredigion.
The 10 areas with the highest proportions of people with COPD are: South Tyneside; Hull; Barking and Dagenham; Blaenau Gwent; Knowsley; Gateshead; Greater Glasgow and Clyde; Sunderland; Sandwell; and Lanarkshire.