Case-finding options for COPD: Results from the burden of obstructive lung disease study

Anamika Jithoo, Paul L. Enright, Peter Burney, A. Sonia Buist, Eric D. Bateman, Wan C. Tan, Michael Studnicka, Filip Mejza, Suzanne Gillespie, William M. Vollmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-555
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Adult
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Peak expiratory flow
  • Questionnaire
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Case-finding options for COPD: Results from the burden of obstructive lung disease study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this