Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Diagnosis and Management in Older Adults

Nalaka S. Gooneratne, MD, MSc; Nirav P. Patel, MD, MPH; Amy Corcoran, MD


J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010;58(6):1153–1162 

In This Article


COPD affects up to 14% of older adults and often has a progressive pattern that worsens with advancing age. The GOLD criteria provide helpful guidelines for the effective management of COPD and emphasize the role of early disease detection through spirometry, the use of long-acting bronchodilators, and the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy. Spirometry assessment continues to play an important role in diagnosis and staging, even in older adults. Furthermore, effective management of COPD in older adults calls for ongoing emphasis of vaccination, nutrition, and smoking cessation and special attention to proper inhaler technique. Vigilance for the numerous comorbidities that can complicate care, such as osteoporosis and depression, is also crucial. Involvement of the caregiver or family members can help to provide further support to help ensure delivery of effective care.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: