Introduction: The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) has published a strategy for diagnosis and for management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) since 2001 and this has formed the basis for numerous national and regional guidelines.
Objectives: We describe the background for the 2011 revision of the GOLD document.
Methods: The GOLD document is updated annually and revised every 5 years based on published research as well as an evaluation by an expert panel of how to best formulate and disseminate knowledge on COPD.
Results: The GOLD 2011 revision states that spirometry is required for making a clinical diagnosis of COPD. At the same time, the document has less emphasis on spirometric evaluation of disease severity and launches a combined assessment taking symptoms, spirometry and history of exacerbations into account. This is matched with initial treatment for COPD where smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation and physical activity in general are given high priority followed by pharmacologic treatment guided by the novel assessment scheme. Comorbidities are often present in COPD and the GOLD 2011 revision gives some guidance in how to manage these as well as how to manage COPD in the presence of comorbidities.
Conclusion: A more clinically oriented GOLD document will hopefully improve assessment and management of COPD.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.