Bronchiectasis and COPD share many similarities and these similarities can lead to one disease being mistaken for the other. Researchers say it’s vital to provide a proper diagnosis at the earliest stage of the disease, in order to use the appropriate treatment.

A new study found that 47.8% (33 of 69) of enrolled participants had both bronchiectasis and COPD. The researchers behind the study identified that severe functional impairment, defined as a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of less than 50%, correlated to developing bronchiectasis, just as greater bacterial colonization and exacerbation rate did, as well.