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Suspect, screen and sort: diagnosing COPD early

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Promoting behaviour change in patients with COPD c Promoting behaviour change in patients with COPD can slow its progress

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive, destructive disease that causes irreversible damage to the airways and lungs.1 It is the only chronic disease with an increasing mortality, which means that it will be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.2 The Department of Health's (DH's) Living Well for Longer,3 aimed at reducing avoidable premature mortality stated that, at a national level, the NHS Commissioning Board, Public Health England (PHE) and the Local Government Association needed to provide support to local commissioners to develop the best possible services4 for local populations with long-term conditions.3 With the majority of long-term conditions being managed in general practice and with COPD forming a significant proportion of the workload, it is a complaint in which significant improvements could be made.

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