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COPD: Practical aspects of case finding, diagnosing and monitoring


Walters, JAE and Crockett, AJ and McDonald, VM, COPD: Practical aspects of case finding, diagnosing and monitoring, Medicine Today, 14, (2) pp. 32-40. ISSN 1443-430X (2013) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

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Copyright 2013 Medicine Today

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Key points:

  • Diagnosis of COPD is often delayed and a high proportion of cases in primary care are unrecognised.
  • COPD is often misdiagnosed in primary care, probably as a result of not using spirometry for diagnosis.
  • Screening systematically or opportunistically with questionnaires can be used to case-find in general practice. Expiratory flow devices are used to determine the need for diagnostic testing.
  • Spirometry is essential to diagnose COPD. COPD is present if the post- bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio is below 0.7 and FEV1 is less than 80% predicted.
  • Telling smokers their ‘lung age’ after spirometry increases their chances of successfully quitting.
  • The results of spirometry together with symptoms and exacerbation frequency guides the management of COPD.
  • Complex lung function tests to distinguish between asthma and COPD are not usually required.
  • Item Details

    Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
    Keywords:COPD, spirometry
    Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
    Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
    Research Field:Respiratory diseases
    Objective Division:Health
    Objective Group:Clinical health
    Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
    UTAS Author:Walters, JAE (Dr Julia Walters)
    ID Code:83374
    Year Published:2013
    Deposited By:Medicine
    Deposited On:2013-03-12
    Last Modified:2014-06-13
    Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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