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Medical News & Perspectives
September 28, 2011

Joint Guideline Focuses on COPD Care

JAMA. 2011;306(12):1313-1314. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1372

A new joint guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), the American Thoracic Society, and the European Respiratory Society highlights new information on the best use of diagnostic techniques for patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and recommends therapies for patients with stable COPD.

COPD, a disabling condition that involves progressive airflow obstruction, is most often linked to long-term smoking. It is a common condition, which affects more than 5% of adults in the United States and contributes to $29.5 billion in medical costs each year. Because of the disease's considerable impact, it was important to bring together all of the major professional organizations with expertise in caring for patients with COPD to reach a consensus on any areas where there is controversy and to avoid the confusion that could be caused by multiple guidelines, said Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, director of clinical policy at the ACP in Philadelphia.