David Price of the University of Aberdeen told participants at a Glasgow meeting Tuesday more than half of those affected with COPD may first be incorrectly diagnosed with asthma by their primary care physician.
COPD is a progressive respiratory disease causing significant deterioration of lung function and chronic breathlessness that can lead to severe disability.
"The level of misdiagnosis and under diagnosis seen in this study is very concerning," said Price.
He added: "Although recent guidelines for COPD emphasize the importance of accurate diagnosis, this has been challenging in primary care. There has been varied evidence for COPD signs and symptoms, and insufficient tools to make an accurate diagnosis. As a result, patients are suffering unnecessarily because they're not receiving appropriate treatment."
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