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Raising Awareness of COPD in Primary Care*

Norbert F. Voelkel, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: *From the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO. ,  This article was drawn from a discussion following the workshop “COPD: Working Towards a Greater Understanding,” held in June 1999. For a complete list of discussion panel participants, see the Appendix.

Correspondence to: Norbert F. Voelkel, MD, Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, 4200 E Ninth Ave, C272, Denver, CO 80262; e-mail: norbert.voelkel@uchsc.edu



Chest. 2000;117(5_suppl_2):372S-375S. doi:10.1378/chest.117.5_suppl_2.372S
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COPD is a major cause of mortality and a significant drain on health-care resources but is widely underdiagnosed in the primary-care setting. There is an urgent need to raise the profile of the disease among both primary-care physicians and patients. At the workshop “COPD: Working Towards a Greater Understanding,” a panel of COPD experts from Europe and the United States discussed ways in which awareness of COPD could be raised. Access to spirometry, and education in its use and relevance, was identified as a major goal for primary-care physicians. Simple questionnaires can promote patient awareness and provide feedback to physicians. COPD needs to be identified as not just a disease of smokers.


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