Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are frequently misdiagnosed or remain undiagnosed, and may therefore be missing out on appropriate treatment, according to the results of a primary care study presented today at the annual European Respiratory Society (ERS) meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.1
COPD is a progressive respiratory disease that causes significant deterioration of lung function and chronic breathlessness that can lead to severe disability.2 Limited airflow associated with COPD leads to excess air being trapped in the lungs after a person has exhaled. This condition, known as "air trapping", is a primary cause of breathlessness, which often restricts a person’s ability to perform daily activities such as walking up stairs or taking a shower.3,4
Although COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, claiming 2.75 million lives annually,5 it is estimated that up to 75% of patients in Europe6 and 50% in the United States are undiagnosed.7 Results of the study presented today at the ERS congress showed that more than half of those affected with COPD may first be incorrectly diagnosed with asthma by their primary care physician.1
Patrick Ward | EurekAlert!
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