With all medical conditions, effective management and care depend upon an accurate diagnosis. Pulmonary issues are no exception. For this reason, it’s essential to see a trained specialist when respiratory symptoms arise. At the office of North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, we provide the care required to diagnose and address respiratory problems and support wellness.
Many cases of COPD are misclassified
According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, doctors in Canada studied over 21,000 patients with a mean age of 64 years to assess the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Their findings provided valuable information on the high rate of COPD misclassification, including overdiagnosis, underdiagnosis, and the associated burden of symptoms, healthcare utilization, and physical performance.
They noted cases of confirmed, under-diagnosed, and over-diagnosed COPD demonstrated higher risks for respiratory symptoms and healthcare utilization in the prior 12 months. Also, mood disorders were higher in confirmed and over-diagnosed COPD, while physical performance was lower for COPD groups.
Misclassification and its impact on care
It's essential to keep in mind that the impact of COPD misclassification is significant, including:
Spirometry and proper diagnoses
As confirmed by the study, the burden of COPD overdiagnosis and the underutilization of spirometry remains high in the general population and is demonstrably high in older adults. However, with proper diagnostics, including accurate spirometry testing, substantially lower rates would be seen.
Why see a pulmonologist for care
This study also provides further validation that respiratory ailments require a specialty-trained pulmonologist's skilled and experienced care.
At the office of North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, our physicians are well equipped to provide the timely diagnosis and the early implementation of the disease-specific care needed to address COPD symptoms, manage the condition, and achieve improved health outcomes.
By North Jersey Pulmonary Associates
May 6, 2022