This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

GOLD 2017: reviewing the latest recommendations

Written by: | Published:

GOLD guidelines are updated annually Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines are updated annually

The Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines are updated annually. The latest edition for 2017, contained some significant changes from previous publications. In this article we sum up some of those key changes.

The updated GOLD guidelines can be downloaded at

Definition and diagnosis of COPD

In 2017 GOLD reviewed its definition of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to include greater consideration of the pathophysiological changes in airways and alveoli, the role of host factors (e.g. genetic influences, low birthweight and/or childhood respiratory illnesses) and the preventable causes including smoking.

The diagnostic features of COPD have also been reviewed. GOLD now recognises that chronic bronchitis (having a cough with sputum production that lasts for three months once a year for at least two years) and emphysema are not always part of how COPD presents. Instead, the guidelines advise that clinicians should suspect a diagnosis of COPD if a patient who has been exposed to risk factors for COPD reports progressive and persistent dyspnoea, chronic cough and persistent wheeze (expiratory and/or inspiratory) and chronic sputum production. Any family history of COPD increases the likelihood of the diagnosis, as does a personal history of low birthweight or lung infections in childhood.


Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.