Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Management Update – Nurse, Nurse Practitioner
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018 and a significant cause of illness and disability. It affects more than 15 million Americans, though prevalence varies considerably by state, from 3.7% of adults in Hawaii to 13.6% of adults in West Virginia. Over the next 20 years, COPD is projected to incur direct medical costs of over $800 billion in the U.S. alone. The most widely utilized guidelines related to the diagnosis and treatment of COPD have been developed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and a collaboration between the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society (ERS). Though the majority of patients with COPD in the U.S. are cared for by primary care clinicians, the lack of COPD-related knowledge remains a significant barrier to the care of this patient population. Accordingly, familiarity with the standards of care reviewed in this article will help primary care clinicians optimize the care of patients with stable COPD.