Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has a significant impact on healthcare systems and health-related quality of life. Increased prevalence of smoking is an important factor contributing to high burden of COPD in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Several other factors including sedentary lifestyle, urbanization, second-hand smoke, air pollution, and occupational exposure are also responsible for the upsurge of COPD in the MEA. Frequent COPD exacerbations accelerate disease progression, progressively deteriorate the lung function, and negatively affect quality of life. This consensus is based on review of the published evidence, international and regional guidelines, and insights provided by the expert committee members from the MEA region. Spirometry, though the gold standard for diagnosis, is often unavailable and/or underutilized leading to underdiagnosis of COPD in primary care settings. Low adherence to the treatment guidelines and delayed use of appropriate combination therapy including triple therapy are additional barriers in management of COPD in MEA. It is necessary to recognize COPD as a screenable condition and develop easy and simple screening tools to facilitate early diagnosis. Knowledge of the disease symptomatology at patient and physician level and adherence to the international or regional guidelines are important to create awareness about harmful effects of smoking and develop national guidelines to focus on prevention on COPD. Implementation of vaccination program and pulmonary rehabilitation are equally valuable to manage patients with COPD at local and regional level. We present recommendations made by the expert panel for improved screening, diagnosis, and management of COPD in MEA.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.