The annual report provides new, essential updates on screening, therapeutic interventions and adherence
In November 2022, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) published its updated 2023 report, an evidence-based strategy document for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to better manage and treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The annual GOLD Report provides new, essential updates, including additional information on screening for COPD, therapeutic interventions to reduce COPD mortality, adherence to inhaled COPD medications and a section on inhaler choice.
Impacting 384 million individuals worldwide, COPD is a progressive, treatable disease characterised by limited airflow in and out of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. With the right medicine and inhaler as well as a healthy lifestyle, people living with COPD can better manage their symptoms, including shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and a chronic cough that may produce mucus (sputum). Beyond living a healthy lifestyle, there is a variety of medicines, including long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) and long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs), that can help treat COPD and its symptoms. LAMA treatments improve symptoms, including cough, sputum production and health status. They also improve the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation and reduce exacerbations and related hospitalisations. LABA treatments can help loosen the muscles of the lower respiratory tract to keep airways open.
Based on GOLD criteria, LAMA, LABA or LAMA+LABA therapy should be used as the initial treatment for the majority of patients with COPD, regardless of exacerbation risk. With the 2023 Report, GOLD no longer encourages the use of a LABA/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) combination in COPD.
The new 2023 GOLD recommendations represent a meaningful change for the treatment of COPD by prioritising the utilisation of a fixed LAMA/LABA combination. From a physician’s perspective, these GOLD report recommendations are valuable in how to best diagnose, treat and manage COPD in people living with the condition. It is with these informed recommendations that we can best utilise available treatment options to provide the most benefit to our patients.
In addition to medication, it is important to note that not all inhalers are the same, which is why it is so important for people living with COPD to work with their healthcare provider to find the right inhaler and medicine that works best for them. The 2023 GOLD Report recommends matching the inhaler with each patient’s inhalation ability. There are various inhalers available to take COPD medication and the right inhaler should help someone living with COPD breathe easier. Patients should continue working with their healthcare providers to determine the best inhaler and medicine to meet their individual needs.
COPD is one of the top three leading causes of death globally, with 3.23 million deaths in 2019. It is now more important than ever to recognise COPD earlier on, which can lead to early treatment initiation and, ultimately, help people living with COPD manage their symptoms sooner. The GOLD Report continues to support HCPs with the standard practice for treating and managing COPD. The recommendations provide healthcare providers with more clarity on how to optimise treatments for their patients with COPD. Together, people living with COPD can work with their healthcare team to determine the right treatment and right inhaler, helping them breathe easier.