Corpus Christi, TX—Nearly a third of patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) were misclassified because spirometric measurements did not confirm their disease, according to a study presented recently at the CHEST Annual Meeting 2016 in Los Angeles. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recommends that spirometry be performed to establish the diagnosis of COPD in any patient who has a history of chronic cough, sputum production, difficulty breathing, or exposure to risk factors. For this study, researchers from Corpus Christi Medical Center in South Texas assessed the accuracy of diagnoses and utilization of spirometry in multiple primary care clinics. Of the 65 patient records reviewed, only 29% had undergone spirometry testing or had results available. In 31.6% of presumptive COPD cases, the diagnosis was not backed up by spirometric testing.
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