USPSTF Still Advises Against COPD Screening for Asymptomatic Adults

COPD, lung x ray
COPD, lung x ray
Findings of final evidence review were consistent with 2016 USPSTF recommendation

HealthDay News — The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening asymptomatic adults for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This recommendation forms the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the May 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elizabeth M. Webber, from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a targeted systematic review to update the evidence on the effectiveness of screening for COPD and COPD treatment. Data were included from 3 trials or analyses of pharmacologic treatment published since 2015 with 20,058 participants, 13 trials on nonpharmacologic interventions with 3657 participants, and 2 large observational studies addressing the harms of pharmacologic treatment with 243,517 participants. The researchers found that the results from the clinical trials of pharmacologic therapy were consistent with the previous review, supporting the 2016 USPSTF recommendation. Across a range of outcomes, no consistent benefit was seen for any type of nonpharmacologic treatment.

Based on these findings and using a reaffirmation process, the USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening asymptomatic adults for COPD has no net benefit. Consequently, the USPSTF recommends against screening asymptomatic adults for COPD (D recommendation).

“While screening for COPD in people without symptoms is not recommended, health care professionals can still help prevent their patients from getting COPD,” USPSTF Chair Carol Mangione, MD, MSPH, said in a statement. “Most cases of COPD are caused by smoking, so it’s essential health care professionals support their patients, including young people, in not starting to smoke and helping those who do smoke quit.”

Evidence Report

Final Recommendation Statement