• Overlap Between Asthma and COPD: Where the Two Diseases Converge

    by Alan Batt. Last modified: 08/07/14



    Kim SR1, Rhee YK. Overlap Between Asthma and COPD: Where the Two Diseases Converge. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2010 Oct;2(4):209-14. PMID: 20885905.


    This article by Kim and Rhee gives a great overview of the pathophysiological processes in both asthma and COPD, and discusses the differences and similarities between the two disease processes. A must read for all prehospital providers!


    Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are traditionally recognized as distinct diseases, with some clearly separate characteristic.

    Asthma originates in childhood, is associated with allergies and eosinophils, and is best treated by targeting inflammation, whereas COPD occurs in adults who smoke, involves neutrophils, and is best treated with bronchodilators and the removal of risk factors. However, the distinction between the two is not always clear.

    Patients with severe asthma may present with fixed airway obstruction, and patients with COPD may have hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia. Recognizing and understanding these overlapping features may offer new insight into the mechanisms and treatment of chronic airway inflammatory diseases.


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    Alan Batt

    Alan Batt

    Paramedic, educator, researcher
    Alan is a critical care paramedic, paramedic educator and prehospital researcher, currently working around the world as an educator and researcher. He has previously worked and studied across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, and an MSc in Critical Care. His main interests are in care of the elderly, end-of-life care, patient safety, professionalism (including role and identity), and paramedic education.

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