HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found no net benefit for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) screening in asymptomatic adults and consequently recommends against screening. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online by the USPSTF.

Janelle M. Guirguis-Blake, MD, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and colleagues conducted a systematic review to update USPSTF recommendations on screening for COPD.

The researchers found no evidence that COPD screening with questionnaires or spirometry improves health outcomes in asymptomatic individuals. 

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There was no indication that COPD screening before symptom development affected treatment decisions, altered the course of disease, or improved patient outcomes. 

There was inadequate evidence on the harms of screening; the cost associated with screening asymptomatic individuals may be large, given the lack of benefit of early detection and treatment. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, which will be available for comment until Sept. 14.

“The Task Force found that there is no evidence that screening for COPD in adults without symptoms results in improved health outcomes,” Task Force member William Phillips, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “The most important step you can take to prevent COPD is to avoid smoking. People who smoke should talk with their doctors about ways to quit.”

Learn more about the evidence review.