COPD prevalence and misdiagnosed in primary care

05 May 2022
Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
Type of resource
Malaga 2022
Liliana Silva, Matosinhos Local Health Unit, Portugal
Clinical Research Results Abstract COPD prevalence and misdiagnosed in primary careIntroduction: Although the guidelines for COPD diagnosis are quite clear, epidemiological studies identify a significantly high probability of diagnoses that do not follow national and international guidelines. Misdiagnosis can lead to increased exposure to pharmacological treatment, increased unnecessary use of health services, and various auxiliary diagnostic tests.Methods: An observational analytical and cross-sectional study was conducted in a northern Portugal region using a random sample with a 95% confidence interval and a margin of error of 5%. In this region, 2818 patients are diagnosed with COPD, and we analysed 339 records. Data were accessed through electronic health records following ethical research standards.Results: In this population, the prevalence of COPD is 1.8%, slightly higher than the prevalence in Portugal, 1.6%, referring to COPD diagnoses in primary health care (ICPC code R95). These values indicate an underdiagnosis of COPD, compared with the national estimated prevalence of 14% in people over 40 years old. Furthermore, in this sample of people diagnosed with COPD, 18% (n=62) had a FEV1/FVC ratio above 0.70, indicating no spirometric validation of the diagnosis.Conclusion: Clinicians' adherence to technical guidelines is essential to assess the best pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment needed to reduce the consumption of health resources and optimise treatment. It is essential to optimise the accuracy of diagnoses in primary health care, thus ensuring the necessary validity for their use in research. Research Idea Abstract Service Development & Evaluation Abstract Declaration of Interest There is no conflict of interest of any of the authors. References and Clinical Trial Registry Information ReferencesThomas ET, Glasziou P, Dobler CC. Use of the terms “overdiagnosis” and “misdiagnosis” in the COPD literature: a rapid review. Breathe 2019; 15: e8–e19.Santos AC, Barreto C, Barata F, Froes F, Carvalho I, Pité I, et al. 13 º Relatório do Observatório Nacional das Doenças Respiratórias. Obs Nac das doenças Respir [Internet]. 2018; 45. Available from: Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - 2022 report. 2022