Current approach to COPD management: Setting a model in medical therapeutics

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Having a prevalence of more than 10% in the general population above the age of 40 years, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) consists a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide. COPD exacerbations represent a significant proportion of hospital admissions and COPD patients the majority of respiratory clinic attendances. The disease poses a huge burden to both individual patients and the society [1]. However, the enhanced understanding of the pathophysiological and immunological nature of COPD, along with the introduction of new drugs and therapeutic approaches have brought a new era in the management of these patients. Novel bronchodilators and immunomodulators improve the management of stable COPD and may alter disease progression [2] and survival [3], while worldwide smoking cessation campaigns constitute an effective mean of primary and secondary prevention [4]. New insights in the micro-biome of these patients and the immunology of the exacer-bations are expected to lead to updates in their management [5]. Interventional techniques are also expanding [6]. What is even more important, is the fact that the approach towards both the patients and the disease has been changed over the last few years. Firstly, the hospital at home approach, which encompasses apart from home visits, patient education and tele-monitoring can improve the quality of life and decrease the management costs. COPD is a chronic disease and the patients usually have at least acceptable level of understanding of their condition and symptoms. Further education could enhance their active participation in disease management, including secondary prevention –smoking cessation-but also early recognition and treatment of exacerbations. Different methods of tele-monitoring and tele-consultation can also contribute to the decrease of hospital visits and admissions [7].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-351
Number of pages2
JournalCurrent Respiratory Medicine Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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