Experts call for re-focussing of COPD management to reduce hospital admissions and mortality

16th November 2005: A new report on the importance of treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations is launched today, on World COPD Day. Global dissemination of the report to family physicians/General Practitioners around the world is being supported and facilitated by Wonca, the World Organisation of Family Doctors.

The Time to Live Report calls for doctors to adopt guidelines and re-prioritise their approach in COPD management. Over 90% of doctors interviewed as part of the Time to Live Report agreed that reducing exacerbations ("lung attacks") in COPD is vital to improve patients' quality of life and 70% think that reducing hospital visits is crucial. (1, 2) However, despite updated guidelines and advances in treatment, a quarter of COPD patients hospitalised with an exacerbation will be dead within a year(3,4), and more than 90% of sufferers report that exacerbations affect their daily life. (5)

Exacerbations are an acute worsening of symptoms, often triggered by a respiratory infection, requiring medical intervention and often hospitalisation. However, while doctors do see the need to reduce exacerbations, when it comes to management strategies for the condition 81% of doctors interviewed for the report still regard every day symptomatic relief as the best treatment option. This suggests that preventing and reducing exacerbations is still not enough of a priority in COPD management.

Dr Alfred Loh, Chief Executive Officer of Wonca comments: "The Time to Live Report demonstrates the need to refocus the way in which clinicians view and treat COPD. The level of care provided to patients with COPD, and the morbidity and mortality associated with the condition, is truly unacceptable. We urgently need to change the prevailing attitude that COPD is a hopeless condition with limited treatment options. Advances in treatment and our ever-increasing understanding of COPD means it is a condition that is both preventable an

Contact: Tina Edwards, Virgo Health PR
Virgo Health PR

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