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Eur Respir J. 2018 Dec 6;52(6). pii: 1801448. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01448-2018. Print 2018 Dec.

What is early COPD and why is it important?

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Instituto de Investigación, Hospital Universitario de la Princesa (IISP), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
CIBER-Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Madrid, Spain.
Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
Dept of Respiratory Medicine, Hospital Universitari Son Espases-IdISBa, Palma, Spain.


There is increasing interest in the origins of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it is envisaged that preventive efforts and treatment can modify its clinical course. The concept of early COPD is not new, but it has recently regained interest, given new population data, recent cellular and molecular advances and insights from clinical trials. To date, many knowledge gaps in the nature of early COPD still exist, mainly because COPD has always been considered a disease of the elderly, and little attention has been paid to the pathological changes occurring in the lungs of individuals at risk before they develop clinically evident COPD. Future studies should focus on identifying early pathological manifestations of COPD in order to prevent its progression in susceptible individuals. In this review, we aim to summarise what is known on early COPD, from the epidemiological, cellular and clinical perspectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: J.B. Soriano declares having received pharmaceutical company grants from GSK in 2011 and Chiesi in 2012 via CIMERA, his former home institution, and from 2014 to date from Linde via Hospital Universitario de La Princesa; and participated in speaking activities, advisory committees and consultancies during the period 2011–2017 sponsored by: Almirall, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, CHEST, Chiesi, ERS, GEBRO, Grifols, GSK, Linde, Lipopharma, Mundipharma, Novartis, Pfizer, RiRL, Rovi, Sandoz, SEPAR and Takeda. Conflict of interest: F. Polverino has nothing to disclose. Conflict of interest: B.G. Cosio reports personal fees from AstraZeneca, grants and personal fees from Boehringer-Ingelheim, grants and personal fees from Novartis, grants and personal fees from Chiesi, personal fees from Rovi, grants from Menarini and personal fees from Esteve, outside the submitted work.

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