Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major public health problem and its prevalence and mortality are increasing throughout the world, including the Asia-Pacific region. To arrest these worldwide trends, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) Expert Panel's global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of COPD was published in 2001. Based on recently published clinical trials, the GOLD statement was updated in 2003. The Asia-Pacific COPD Roundtable Group, a taskforce of expert respirologists from the Asia-Pacific region, has recently formulated a consensus statement on implementation of the GOLD strategy for COPD in the Asia-Pacific region. The key issues identified by the COPD Roundtable Group for comment are: (i) where there is no access to spirometry, diagnosis of COPD could be suspected on the basis of history, symptoms and physical signs; (ii) inhaled bronchodilators are the preferred regular treatment for COPD in the region, but oral bronchodilators may be considered if the cost of inhaled bronchodilators is a barrier to treatment; (iii) the use of an Metered Dose Inhaler with spacer in place of a nebulizer is recommended in the treatment of acute airflow obstruction in patients with COPD; (iv) influenza vaccination is recommended for all patients with COPD in communities where there is a high likelihood of Severe Acute Respitory Syndrome; and (v) simplified pulmonary rehabilitation programmes should be established in areas where comprehensive programmes are unavailable. Physical exercise training and education on smoking cessation should be core elements of any rehabilitation program. In summary, the COPD Roundtable Group supports, implementation of the GOLD strategy for the diagnosis, management and prevention of COPD in the Asia-Pacific region, subject to the additions and modifications to the guidelines suggested above.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease statement
- Influenza vaccination
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Severe Acute Respitory Syndrome