adult screening programme


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung diseases. People with COPD struggle to breathe as their airways have narrowed. Symptoms include having a persistent cough and chest infections.

Read more about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on the NHS website.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in August 2018.

Screening is not currently recommended for this condition.

Screening for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is not recommended. This is because:

  • there is not an accurate test to detect early COPD
  • the best treatment for early COPD is to stop smoking, people with few or no symptoms may not be willing to do this
  • it is not known if medicines for COPD are effective in people with mild symptoms

There is evidence that identifying COPD in people with symptoms is cost effective. There are national guidelines for doctors to follow for these patients.

Supporting documents from the 2018 review

Evidence summary COPD (2018)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2018

Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in COPD

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.