COPD – Introduction

NLHEP logo

Test Your Lungs,
Know Your Numbers



Definitions and Pathogenesis

National Lung Health Education Program

of Smoking Cessation

Management of Symptomatic COPD

of Advanced Disease

New Era




The Early Recognition and Management of Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease

Dennis E. Doherty,
Thomas L. Petty, M.D.
James S. Seebass, DO

What is your FEV1? What is your FEV6?

Printing and distribution has
been made possible by educational grants from:


Boehringer Ingelheim

Glaxo Smith Kline

Jones Spriometry

NDD Medical Technologies, Inc.

The National Emphysema Foundation

Roche Pharmaceuticals


Because signs or symptoms are absent or ignored in
most patients with mild to moderate COPD, the diagnosis is not usually
made until the patient is in the advanced stages of the disease. It is of
critical importance to identify and treat all patients early. These
individuals are losing lung function at an accelerated rate due to smoking
and other causes and are on the pathway to symptomatic

The approximately 9,000 pulmonologists in the United
States do not see patients in incipient stages of the disease. These
patients, often still smoking, come to the offices of their primary care
physicians for various health care matters, including other smoking
related diseases such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, or other
chronic illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, depression, and for minor
acute illnesses. The approximately 230,000 primary care practitioners in
the United States care for the vast majority of people with undiagnosed
COPD. For this reason, we have developed a program for primary care
practitioners to encourage early diagnosis and intervention, as well as to
give a state-of-the-art review of management of all stages of COPD.
Highlights of our message include the importance of office spirometry and
the key importance of smoking cessation.

The National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)
was launched in 1997 as a new health care initiative aimed at creating a
national strategy for the identification and treatment of all stages of
COPD. The NLHEP enjoys the sponsorship of many societies, governmental
agencies and the National Emphysema Foundation. It has partnered with the
American Association for Respiratory care (AARC) to jointly pursue the
mission of finding and treating COPD and related disorders.

The authors of this monograph have
created this model COPD Symposium. It is our goal to motivate and inspire
a new team of pulmonologists to deliver educational programs to their
primary care colleagues in their own regions, using the materials
presented in this manual. There are a wide variety of sources that can
potentially support this initiative, including unrestricted grants from

National Lung Health Education Program