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Open Access Study protocol

Early detection of COPD in primary care -The Copenhagen COPD Screening Project

Anne Marie Lyngsø1*, Vibeke Backer2, Vibeke Gottlieb2, Birgitte Nybo2, Marianne S Østergaard3 and Anne Frølich1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Integrated Healthcare, Bisbebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

2 Department of Pulmonary medicine, Bisbebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

3 Department of Health Services Research, Institute of General Medicine, Copenhagen University, Denmark

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:524  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-524

Published: 1 September 2010

Abstract

Background

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is among the leading causes of death in the world, and further increases in the prevalence and mortality are predicted. Delay in diagnosing COPD appears frequently even though current consensus guidelines emphasize the importance of early detection of the disease. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a screening programme in general practice.

Methods/Design

Subjects aged 65 years and older registered with a General Practitioner (GP) in the eastern Copenhagen will receive a written invitation and a simple questionnaire focusing on risk factors and symptoms of COPD. Subjects who meet the following criteria will be encouraged to undergo spirometric testing at their GP: current smokers, former smokers, and subjects with no smoking history but who have dyspnea and/or chronic cough with sputum.

Discussion

The Copenhagen COPD Screening Project evaluates the effectiveness of a two-stage screening program for COPD in general practice and provides important information on how to organize early detection of COPD in general practice in the future.