Adults without respiratory symptoms such as a chronic phlegmy cough or wheezing and shortness of breath don’t need routine screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), according to new guidelines from an influential U.S. medical group.

The new recommendations, issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), are in line with 2016 guidelines that discouraged widespread screening of people without any symptoms of COPD, a chronic progressive respiratory disease that is most often caused by smoking. People with respiratory symptoms or who are at higher risk of COPD due to genetics or workplace exposure to certain chemicals that can damage the lungs should be still get tested for the condition, the USPSTF notes in its latest recommendations, published in JAMA.

“There is no evidence that detecting and treating COPD in individuals without respiratory symptoms improves health-related quality of life or reduces mortality,” wrote Jill Jin, MD, MPH, associate editor of JAMA, in a patient page accompanying the recommendations.

“For people with mild to moderate COPD who have symptoms, treatment decreases COPD exacerbations and hospitalizations, but the effect of COPD treatment on risk of death is uncertain,” Dr. Jin notes.

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