+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      Risk of over-diagnosis of COPD in asymptomatic elderly never-smokers.

      The European Respiratory Journal

      Vital Capacity, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Diagnostic Errors, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Humans, Male, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, diagnosis, physiopathology, Reference Values, Smoking, Spirometry

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) has defined stage I chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC)% <70% and a FEV1% predicted of >80%. Stage 2 has been defined as FEV1/FVC <70% and a FEV1% pred of <80%. The authors examined the extent of COPD misdiagnosis using this definition in healthy, never-smoker, asymptomatic adults aged >70 yrs in Bergen, Norway. A respiratory questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 2,871 persons aged >70 yrs. In a random, well-defined subgroup of 208 never-smoker respondents with no current respiratory disease and significant dyspnoea or heart disease/hypertension complicated with dyspnoea, 71 were able to perform an acceptable spirometry. Approximately 35% of these healthy, elderly never-smokers had an FEV1/FVC% of <70% and would be classified as having at least a stage 1 COPD. This percentage increased with age and in those aged >80 yrs approximately 50% would be classified as having COPD and approximately one-third would have an FEV1 of <80% pred (stage 2 COPD). The estimated 5th percentile of FEV1 was consistently <80% pred. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criteria will probably lead to a significant degree of over-diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in those aged >70 yrs. The criteria used to define the various stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease need to be age-specific.

          Related collections

          Author and article information




          Comment on this article