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Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. The word ‘exacerbation’ has been corrected to ‘exacerbations’ in the article title.
Competing interests NCT has participated in advisory boards and/or received consultancy fees from Asmacure, Chiesi and Respivert. He has received lecture fees from Boston Scientific, Chiesi, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, and industry-sponsored grant funding to the University of Glasgow from AstraZeneca, Boston Scientific, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer and Synairgen for participating in clinical trials.