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Targeting malnutrition in patients with COPD in the community.

The number of individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasing, but nutritional care can be inconsistent, especially in those with stable COPD. Historically, poor appetite and weight loss have been considered the norm during the progression of COPD into the later stage. However, it is imperative that nutritional assessment, support and management is undertaken from diagnosis, because malnutrition can lead to exacerbations of COPD and increased hospitalisation. Poor nutrition in individuals with COPD has been shown to predict an increase in mortality and with the care of patients taking place principally in the community, the nutritional aspects of care should be assessed, monitored and managed, in accordance with the latest guidance. The lack of a nutritional Quality Outcome Framework indicator for COPD can leave nutrition overlooked, but evidence shows that screening, assessment and planning can have an overall positive impact.

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