New Guidelines for a Growing Threat to Global Health: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

NIH and WHO Unveil Global Strategy for Diagnosing, Managing,

And Preventing the World's Fourth Leading Cause of Death.



Bronchodilators are Central to Symptom Management in COPD.



Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from GlaxoSmithKline

    RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Heart,
 Lung and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health) and the
 World Health Organization released today new international guidelines for the
 diagnosis, management and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
 (COPD).
     COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide(1). An
 estimated 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and as many as
 16 million more are undiagnosed(2).
     "These new treatment guidelines are very important in addressing a growing
 healthcare concern," said Dr. Stephen Rennard, professor of medicine at the
 University of Nebraska Medical Center and a member of the expert panel that
 helped develop the guidelines. "The goal of these guidelines is to help boost
 worldwide awareness of COPD and decrease the morbidity and mortality it
 causes."
     The guidelines establish goals for the effective management of COPD, which
 includes assessing and monitoring the disease, reducing risk factors, managing
 stable COPD, and managing exacerbations.
 
     Diagnosis of COPD
 
     A diagnosis of COPD should be considered in any patient who has cough,
 sputum production, or breathlessness, and/or a history of exposure to risk
 factors for the disease. The diagnosis is confirmed by an objective measure of
 airflow limitation, preferably spirometry.
 
     Management of COPD: Pharmacological Treatment
 
     COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis that decreases
 airflow in and out of the lungs, is a progressive and often debilitating
 disease. Symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness can limit the ability to
 breathe to the point that even simple daily activities, like bathing, dressing
 and talking, can become difficult. Additionally, COPD imposes a profound
 burden on patients, including medical emergencies and hospitalizations, work
 absenteeism and other activity limitations.
     The guidelines emphasize that bronchodilators -- medications which help
 keep airways relaxed, increasing airflow -- are central to symptom management
 in COPD. The guidelines also state that:
 
     *  inhaled bronchodilator maintenance therapy has been shown to improve
        health status significantly
     *  long-acting bronchodilators are more convenient than alternative
        treatments.
 
     Effective and Convenient Medications Help Meet Patients' Needs
 
     Convenience is a particularly important issue to assist medication
 compliance among COPD patients, according to a major survey released earlier
 this year. Confronting COPD in America, the most comprehensive U.S. survey
 ever done on the disease, suggests that in addition to the profound disease
 burden of COPD, many patients also report that medication regimens present a
 "treatment burden."
     Treatment options that address this concern and have the potential to
 increase compliance with therapy are an important element of COPD management.
 Confronting COPD in America found that that nearly 90% of the COPD patients
 who responded felt that a twice-a-day dosing schedule, as found with long-
 acting bronchodilators, is more convenient than having to take a short-acting
 medication three or four times a day. Additionally, a majority of the
 respondents said that they would be better about taking medicine if it were
 more convenient.
     "The guidelines being unveiled today represent the latest thinking about
 COPD management, and contain important information for both physicians and
 patients," said Dr. Rennard. "There is clearly a need for better education
 about this disease and the best ways to manage it. My hope is that the
 guidelines will help raise awareness and improve the quality of care, and the
 quality of life, for people living with COPD."
 
     The guidelines were published by NHLBI and WHO as part of a cooperative
 effort called the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
 (GOLD). They are commonly referred to as the "GOLD Guidelines."
     More information on the guidelines is available at
 http://www.goldcopd.com. Additional information about COPD and other
 respiratory diseases is available at http://www.ibreathe.com. A summary of
 Confronting COPD in America is available on the American Lung Association's
 website at http://www.lungusa.org and on the American Association for
 Respiratory Care's website at http://www.aarc.org.
 
     GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based
 pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.
 
     References
 
     1. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Executive
        Summary, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood
        Institute, pp. vi, 1.
     2. Petty TL. A new national strategy for COPD. Journal of Respiratory
        Diseases. 1997;18(4):365-369
 
     Footnote
 
     Confronting COPD in America was conducted by Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas,
     Inc., a national research firm specializing in health issues. Its findings
     are supported by several leading respiratory organizations, including the
     American College of Chest Physicians, National Lung Health Education
     Program and American Association of Respiratory Care. The survey was
     funded by the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.
 
 

SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline
    RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Heart,
 Lung and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health) and the
 World Health Organization released today new international guidelines for the
 diagnosis, management and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
 (COPD).
     COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide(1). An
 estimated 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and as many as
 16 million more are undiagnosed(2).
     "These new treatment guidelines are very important in addressing a growing
 healthcare concern," said Dr. Stephen Rennard, professor of medicine at the
 University of Nebraska Medical Center and a member of the expert panel that
 helped develop the guidelines. "The goal of these guidelines is to help boost
 worldwide awareness of COPD and decrease the morbidity and mortality it
 causes."
     The guidelines establish goals for the effective management of COPD, which
 includes assessing and monitoring the disease, reducing risk factors, managing
 stable COPD, and managing exacerbations.
 
     Diagnosis of COPD
 
     A diagnosis of COPD should be considered in any patient who has cough,
 sputum production, or breathlessness, and/or a history of exposure to risk
 factors for the disease. The diagnosis is confirmed by an objective measure of
 airflow limitation, preferably spirometry.
 
     Management of COPD: Pharmacological Treatment
 
     COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis that decreases
 airflow in and out of the lungs, is a progressive and often debilitating
 disease. Symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness can limit the ability to
 breathe to the point that even simple daily activities, like bathing, dressing
 and talking, can become difficult. Additionally, COPD imposes a profound
 burden on patients, including medical emergencies and hospitalizations, work
 absenteeism and other activity limitations.
     The guidelines emphasize that bronchodilators -- medications which help
 keep airways relaxed, increasing airflow -- are central to symptom management
 in COPD. The guidelines also state that:
 
     *  inhaled bronchodilator maintenance therapy has been shown to improve
        health status significantly
     *  long-acting bronchodilators are more convenient than alternative
        treatments.
 
     Effective and Convenient Medications Help Meet Patients' Needs
 
     Convenience is a particularly important issue to assist medication
 compliance among COPD patients, according to a major survey released earlier
 this year. Confronting COPD in America, the most comprehensive U.S. survey
 ever done on the disease, suggests that in addition to the profound disease
 burden of COPD, many patients also report that medication regimens present a
 "treatment burden."
     Treatment options that address this concern and have the potential to
 increase compliance with therapy are an important element of COPD management.
 Confronting COPD in America found that that nearly 90% of the COPD patients
 who responded felt that a twice-a-day dosing schedule, as found with long-
 acting bronchodilators, is more convenient than having to take a short-acting
 medication three or four times a day. Additionally, a majority of the
 respondents said that they would be better about taking medicine if it were
 more convenient.
     "The guidelines being unveiled today represent the latest thinking about
 COPD management, and contain important information for both physicians and
 patients," said Dr. Rennard. "There is clearly a need for better education
 about this disease and the best ways to manage it. My hope is that the
 guidelines will help raise awareness and improve the quality of care, and the
 quality of life, for people living with COPD."
 
     The guidelines were published by NHLBI and WHO as part of a cooperative
 effort called the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
 (GOLD). They are commonly referred to as the "GOLD Guidelines."
     More information on the guidelines is available at
 http://www.goldcopd.com. Additional information about COPD and other
 respiratory diseases is available at http://www.ibreathe.com. A summary of
 Confronting COPD in America is available on the American Lung Association's
 website at http://www.lungusa.org and on the American Association for
 Respiratory Care's website at http://www.aarc.org.
 
     GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based
 pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.
 
     References
 
     1. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Executive
        Summary, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood
        Institute, pp. vi, 1.
     2. Petty TL. A new national strategy for COPD. Journal of Respiratory
        Diseases. 1997;18(4):365-369
 
     Footnote
 
     Confronting COPD in America was conducted by Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas,
     Inc., a national research firm specializing in health issues. Its findings
     are supported by several leading respiratory organizations, including the
     American College of Chest Physicians, National Lung Health Education
     Program and American Association of Respiratory Care. The survey was
     funded by the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.
 
 SOURCE  GlaxoSmithKline