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Managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary care

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COPD is one of the most common respiratory conditi COPD is one of the most common respiratory conditions dealt with in primary care

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common, treatable and preventable disease. It is characterised by persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation.1 It is the result of airway and parenchymal changes caused by exposure to noxious particles which leads to dyspnoea, cough and /or sputum production. It is also associated with significant comorbidity which increases mortality.2

An estimated 1.2 million people in the UK are diagnosed with COPD and it is the second most common lung disease in the UK after asthma. COPD is the UK’s fifth biggest killer, causing 30,000 deaths a year.2

Respiratory disease as a whole is one of the main reasons for primary healthcare appointments accounting for approximately 24 million consultations with GPs per annum.3

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