This study aimed to compare strategies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) case finding using data from the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease study. Population-based samples of adults aged o40 yrs (n59,390) from 14 countries completed a questionnaire and spirometry. We compared the screening efficiency of differently staged algorithms that used questionnaire data and/or peak expiratory flow (PEF) data to identify persons at risk for COPD and, hence, needing confirmatory spirometry. Separate algorithms were fitted for moderate/severe COPD and for severe COPD. We estimated the cost of each algorithm in 1,000 people. For moderate/severe COPD, use of questionnaire data alone permitted high sensitivity (97%) but required confirmatory spirometry in 80% of participants. Use of PEF necessitated confirmatory spirometry in only 19-22% of subjects, with 83-84% sensitivity. For severe COPD, use of PEF achieved 91-93% sensitivity, requiring confirmatory spirometry in ,9% of participants. Cost analysis suggested that a staged screening algorithm using only PEF initially, followed by confirmatory spirometry as needed, was the most cost-effective case-finding strategy. Our results support the use of PEF as a simple, cost-effective initial screening tool for conducting COPD case-finding in adults agedo40 yrs. These findings should be validated in realworld settings such as the primary care environment.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Peak expiratory flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine