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COPD diagnosis, management and prevention
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
Diagnosis of COPD
A clinical diagnosis of COPD should be considered in any patient who has dyspnea, chronic cough or sputum production, and a history of exposure to risk factors for the disease
Spirometry is required to make a clinical diagnosis of COPD; the presence of a postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC<0.70 confirms the presence of persistent airflow limitation and thus of COPD. All health care workers who care for COPD patients should have access to spirometry
A major differential diagnosis is asthma. Other potential diagnoses are usually easier to distinguish from COPD, and include: