‘Insidious’ signs hamper COPD diagnosis

The retrospective study examined almost 39,000 patients who had received a COPD diagnosis between 1990 and 2009 to assess whether the diagnosis could have been made in an earlier primary or secondary care visit.

In the five years prior to diagnosis, 85% of patients had visited their GP or a secondary care clinic at least once with lower respiratory symptoms.

The researchers found that opportunities for diagnosis were missed in 58% of patients in the 6—10 years before diagnosis, and in 42%