PR: Not Just for Those with Moderate/Severe COPDJanuary 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm
By John Hansen-Flaschen, MD, editor, Annals of the American Thoracic Society
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Would people with mild COPD benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation? That’s the question Praful Schroff and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham investigated in their January Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Current practice guidelines emphasize the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation for those with moderate to severe COPD. Analyzing records of 229 people who enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation at the university, researchers found that although those in the worse quartile for dyspnea and exercise capacity experienced the greatest benefit, pulmonary rehabilitation resulted in significant improvement in quality of life, dyspnea, and functional capacity in all quartiles. Based on their findings, the authors recommend that those with mild COPD be referred to pulmonary rehabilitation programs. In addition to exercise, the authors write, a pulmonary rehabilitation program would benefit those with mild COPD through preventative strategies, including smoking cessation and dietary changes.