One in seven Australians over the age of 40 has COPD¹. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of Australians living with the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) who do not have a formal doctor’s diagnosis².

Often, early changes in lung health are mistaken for signs of ageing, a lack of fitness or asthma. As a result, people in this category experience a reduced quality of life due to persistent symptoms, and are not taking the important steps to slow down the progression of their disease. While there is currently no cure for COPD, there is evidence to show that early diagnosis, combined with disease management programs at the early stages of the disease, can reduce the burden of COPD by improving quality of life, slowing disease progression, reducing mortality and keeping people out of hospital³.

Lung Foundation Australia offers a range of evidence-based guidelines, training and patient resources to support early diagnosis and best practice management of COPD.


  1. Toelle B, Xuan W, Bird T, Abramson M, Atkinson D, Burton D, James A, Jenkins C, Johns D, Maguire G, Musk A, Walters E, Wood-Baker R, Hunter M, Graham B, Southwell P, Vollmer W, Buist A, Marks G.  Respiratory symptoms and illness in older Australians: The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study. Med J Aust 2013;198:144-148
  2. Xuan W, Toelle B, Bird T, Abramson M, Graham B, James A, Johns D, Maguire G,
    Wood-Baker R, Marks G. Prevalence of respiratory symptoms, illnesses and spirometric diagnoses in the Australian BOLD study. Respirology 2011; 16: 51.
  3. McKenzie DK, Frith PA, Burdon et al on behalf of The Australian Lung Foundation. The COPDX Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2014, found at www.copdx.org.au
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