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Med Clin North Am. 2015 Sep;99(5):953-67. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2015.05.007.

Primary Care of the Patient with Asthma.

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Department of General Internal Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center, 1959 Northeast Pacific Street, Box 356429, Seattle, WA 98195-6429, USA. Electronic address:
Department of General Internal Medicine, Puget Sound VA Medical Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, 1660 South Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108, USA.


Obstructive lung disease includes asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Because a previous issue of Medical Clinics of North America (2012;96[4]) was devoted to COPD, this article focuses on asthma in adults, and addresses some topics about COPD not addressed previously. Asthma is a heterogeneous disease marked by variable airflow obstruction and bronchial hyperreactivity. Onset is most common in early childhood, although many people develop asthma later in life. Adult-onset asthma presents a particular challenge in the primary care clinic because of incomplete understanding of the disorder, underreporting of symptoms, underdiagnosis, inadequate treatment, and high rate of comorbidity.


Adult-onset asthma; Asthma; Asthma exacerbation; COPD

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