Improving COPD and asthma outcomes to EU average would save 2000 lives a year in the UK

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 20 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4651
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Reducing inequalities and improving prevention and ongoing care are key outcomes in a new strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma published by the Department of Health on 18 July.

The UK currently has the second highest mortality rates for COPD and asthma in Europe, the strategy warns. Premature mortality for COPD is almost twice as high in the UK as in the rest of Europe, and that for asthma it is 1.5 times higher.

A working group of specialists, organisations working in respiratory disease, patients, and carers have identified the outcomes they consider essential to reducing deaths and improving patients’ quality of life. If the UK met the EU average outcomes for respiratory disease this would save more than 2000 lives each year.

“This is an important document that attaches priority to COPD and asthma, and sets out a framework for the management of these common …

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