The Singapore Family Physician

Back to issue Vol 39 No. 2 - Chronic Lung Disease

The Overlap Syndrome of Asthma & COPD

Ong Kian Chung
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 39 No 2 - Chronic Lung Disease
19 - 20
1 May 2013
The asthma-COPD overlap syndrome presents itself in patients where the asthma is not controlled despite seemingly appropriate measures or a patient who is a smoker and treated as COPD but also has asthmatic features. The asthma-COPD overlap syndrome is more common in the elderly. Such patients are of importance to diagnose because they have a high disease burden compared to asthma alone or COPD alone. Patients with both asthma and COPD should be identified earlier, as these patients have an increased risk for frequent exacerbations and therefore their treatment and follow-up should be optimised before hospital discharge. Also rehabilitation immediately after an exacerbation has been shown to be safe and effective to prevent further exacerbations requiring hospitalisation.