COPD prevalence and the differences between newly and previously diagnosed COPD patients in a spirometry program
AuthorMinas, M.; Hatzoglou, C.; Karetsi, E.; Papaioannou, A. I.; Tanou, K.; Tsaroucha, R.; Gogou, E.; Gourgoulianis, K. I.; Kostikas, K.
Aims: To evaluate the prevalence and severity of COPD in a primary care population participating in a spirometry program. Differences between newly and previously diagnosed COPD patients were identified. Methods: A spirometry program was conducted in 15 primary care centres. Visitors aged over 30 years who were willing to perform spirometry were included in this program. Results: A total of 1,526 subjects provided acceptable spirometries. COPD prevalence in our population was 18.4%, of whom 69.0% were newly diagnosed. Most patients were classified as GOLD stages I and II (26.0% and 54.0%, respectively). COPD diagnosis was related to gender (men), age (older subjects), history of repeated respiratory infection in childhood, smoking (>10 pack-years) and presence of symptoms (cough, dyspnoea, wheezing). Variables related to newly diagnosed COPD were younger age and absence of chronic cough. Conclusions: A primary care spirometry program may identify a large proportion of undiagnosed COPD patients especially in the early stages of the disease. Newly diagnosed COPD patients were of younger age and presented with less symptoms. These results support the need for spirometry programs in primary care for early COPD detection. (c) 2010 Primary Care Respiratory Society UK. All rights reserved. M Minas et al. Prim Care Resp J 2010; 19(4): 363-370 doi:10.4104/pcrj.2010.00034