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Diagnosis of asthma over-recorded in people with COPD

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Review of: Nissen F, Morales DR, Mullerova H, et al. Concomitant diagnosis of asthma and COPD a quantitative study in UK primary care. B J Gen Pract 2018;68:e775–e782.

Key learning points

  • Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can vary greatly in presentation and diagnosis can be difficult when patients have clinical features of both diseases.

  • In a cohort of UK primary care patients with COPD, 53% had been given a diagnostic code for asthma.

  • A validated diagnosis of concurrent asthma and COPD was likely in only 15% of patients with COPD.

In people with COPD, past and current asthma diagnostic codes should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are appropriate and that patients are receiving the correct treatment.1


This study used the UK’s Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) database to investigate the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients with a validated diagnosis of asthma and …

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  • Contributors DTB Team.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.