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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Long-term antibiotic therapy reduces exacerbation frequency in patients with COPD but it remains unclear which patients to target
  1. James P Allinson,
  2. Gavin C Donaldson
  1. Centre for Respiratory Medicine, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Gavin C Donaldson, Centre for Respiratory Medicine, University College London, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK; g.donaldson{at}

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, progressive respiratory disease. Acute exacerbations of COPD are key events that inflict significant morbidity, mortality and healthcare utilisation costs.1 Exacerbation prevention is a key strategy by which health-related quality of life and disease prognosis could be improved. There is currently an unmet need for therapeutics which effectively target exacerbations and their consequences.

Historically, long-term antibiotics have been used to treat COPD.2 Herath and Poole's review examines whether or not this therapy reduces COPD exacerbations and improves clinical outcomes. The limitations of the evidence and the potential …

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  • Competing interests None.