Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Early detection and appropriate treatment and management of COPD can lower morbidity and perhaps mortality. Clinicians in the primary care setting provide the majority of COPD care and are pivotal in the diagnosis and management of COPD. In this review, we provide an overview of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2020 report, with a focus on the management of COPD in the primary care setting. We discuss the pathophysiology of COPD; describe COPD risk factors, signs, and symptoms that may facilitate earlier diagnosis of COPD; and reinforce the importance of spirometry use in establishing the diagnosis of COPD. Disease monitoring, as well as a review of the 2020 GOLD treatment recommendations, is also discussed. Patients and families are important partners in COPD management; therefore, we outline simple steps that may assist them in caring for those affected by COPD. Finally, we discuss nonpharmacological treatment options for COPD, COPD monitoring tools that may aid in the evaluation of disease progression and response to therapy, and the importance of developing a COPD action plan on an individualized basis.

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Published in International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, v. 16.

© 2021 Yawn et al.

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Writing, editorial support, and formatting service for this review was funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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