Long Island, NY—Failing to follow international guidelines on treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) wasn’t always bad medicine, a new study reveals. The report published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease discusses the results of a study analyzing data on 900 COPD patients from 2005 to 2010. Researchers from the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Island, New York, and colleagues found that 44% of the patients in the study were undertreated by receiving a medication regimen more appropriate for patients with less-severe disease, based on the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) clinical guidelines of the time. Yet, those patients who were undertreated had far fewer exacerbations, on average, than those whose treatment was in line with the guidelines. A year after the study ended, the GOLD group revised its guidelines to take into account patients’ exacerbation rates, according to the article.

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