Improving outcomes for COPD and asthma

The Outcomes strategy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in England, published July 2011, sets out 6 shared objectives to improve outcomes for COPD and asthma.

COPD is one of the second most common cases of emergency admissions to hospital and one of the most costly diseases in terms of acute hospital care. It kills around 25,000 people a year in England and Wales.

Premature mortality for COPD and asthma has decreased in the last decades in parallel with the European (EU-15) average for both men and women but at the time of publishing the strategy, the gap between the UK and the European (EU-15) average had not changed.

The 6 shared objectives to improve outcomes for COPD and asthma will be achieved through high quality, prevention, detection, treatment and care services. At the heart of the strategy is the aim to improve the respiratory health and well-being of all communities.

COPD is a disease of the lungs that is characterised by airflow obstruction or limitation. It is now the most widely used term by clinicians for the conditions in patients with airflow obstruction who were previously diagnosed as having chronic bronchitis or emphysema or chronic unremitting asthma.