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British Lung Foundation
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Just came across this - Interesting notes about COPD classification errors

I am sure there must be some mistakes in this because the numbers stated are very low considering. But then again it is an American study and there are a lot people with COPD over the pond.

The first paragraphs are the ones that I mean - sorry for the rest of page

edit - link removed as it was a promotional page for a particular company.

A 2016 study[2] assessed the accuracy of diagnoses and utilization of spirometry in multiple primary care clinics. After review, researchers found only 29% of patients had spirometry testing or had results available and 31.6% of the patients diagnosed with COPD were misclassified because the spirometric measurements did not confirm the disease.[2] A 2015 study of primary care clinics revealed that only 19% of patients with COPD had undergone spirometry testing.[3] After an education-based intervention called “WipeCOPD,” which included monthly continuing education modules and live spirometry training sessions for primary clinicians, those same clinics’ utilization rates rose to 56% and then 82% within nine months.[3] The lack of use is not limited to adult patients; according to a 2010 study in Pediatrics, only 21% of pediatricians and primary care doctors routinely used spirometry to establish an asthma diagnosis, classify severity, and assess childrens’ level of asthma control—the three clinical situations outlined in the national asthma guidelines.

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Very interesting and correct article.

I was misdiagnosed 7 years ago with COPD!

Here is a BMJ press release about the same:-



There are a number of issues related to spirometry in general. From the calibration of the machines to the training of the staff using them. False negatives and positives appear to be coming problematic. One UK study needed to calibrate their machines once a week to ensure accuracy and even then a large number of operator errors were recorded. Basically a number of tests were invalid due to nurse errors and most of these were due to time issues.


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