Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in South Africa : under-recognised and undertreated
CITATION: Allwood, B. & Van Zyl-Smit, R. N. 2015. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in South Africa : under-recognised and undertreated. South African Medical Journal, 105(9):785, doi:10.7196/SAMJnew.8429.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, preventable but incurable condition currently ranked third in global mortality estimates. Worldwide, 65 million people are estimated to have moderate to severe COPD, and the disease accounts for 3 million deaths annually, of which 90% are said to occur in low- and middle-income countries. Yet, despite these staggering numbers, COPD remains both under-recognised and undertreated in most populations, also in South Africa (SA). There are many reasons for this, not least of which is the attitude of clinicians, which can often be fatalistic with regard to COPD. This edition of CME highlights key aspects of the diagnosis and treatment – pharmacological and non-pharmacological – and new developments in the management of severe disease. Furthermore, we have included articles focusing on non-smokingrelated COPD and tips for good spirometry.