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Respiratory: The Top Reason Patients Come to Primary Care

Respiratory: The Top Reason Patients Come to Primary Care

  • Respiratory diseases are the #1 reason why patients seek primary care.
    Of the top 10 diagnosis groups in primary care, respiratory disorders lead the way.
  • Pneumonia kills close to 1 million children under age 5 worldwide each year.
    Pneumonia kills close to 1 million children younger than 5 years worldwide each year, causing more deaths than from any other infectious disease, including HIV infection, malaria, and tuberculosis. In the US, about 1 million persons (mostly adults) are hospitalized with pneumonia each year and about 50,000 die. Details, here and here
  • 2.5 million visits for pneumonia were to primary care offices in 2009-2010.
    Patients made about 4.8 million ambulatory care visits for pneumonia in 2009-2010. Close to half (2.25 million visits) were to primary care offices.
  • Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood.
    Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood, currently affecting an estimated 7.1 million children younger than 18 years. Details, here
  • COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
    COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 12.7 million US adults had COPD in 2011. Close to 24 million US adults have evidence of impaired lung function, indicating an underdiagnosis of COPD. Details, here
  • Lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for 1.3 million deaths annually, and is the leading cancer killer in the US. Details, here

In “Top 10 Reasons Why Patients Come to Primary Care,” we took a closer look at what brings patients to your office—and not the specialty office down the street—the leading diagnostic categories in primary care practice.

This slideshow highlights the number 1 diagnostic category in primary care: respiratory diseases. Specific respiratory diagnoses featured here include pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. See the following for key facts and figures about the main reason for patient visits to primary care offices.

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