USPSTF Recommends Against Screening for COPD in Asymptomatic Adults

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reaffirm their recommendation against screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in asymptomatic adults.

In 2016, after reviewing the evidence regarding screening for COPD, the USPSTF recommended that clinicians not screen asymptomatic adults. To update their 2016 recommendation, the USPSTF commissioned an evidence-based update focusing on key questions regarding the benefits and harms of screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults.

“Using a reaffirmation process, the USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults has no net benefit,” the task force concluded. “The USPSTF recommends against screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults.”

The USPSTF stressed that this recommendation applies to adults who do not recognize or report respiratory symptoms. This does not apply to persons with symptoms such as chronic cough, sputum production, difficulty breathing, or wheezing. It also does not apply to those at very high risk for COPD, such as those with α-1 antitrypsin deficiency or workers exposed to specific toxins on the job.

“Currently, there is no cure for COPD. Prevention of exposure to cigarette smoke and other toxic fumes is the best way to prevent COPD,” they concluded.


—Ellen Kurek



U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: US Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2022;327(8):1806-1811. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.5692


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