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The Swiss National Guidelines 2013 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been revised in order to acknowledge recent progress in diagnosis and management of this disease. The resulting new Swiss recommendations are based on best evidence from the literature, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2018 report and other published national guidelines. Misdiagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is common and means that patients do not always receive optimal treatment. To improve the management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Switzerland, these recommendations encourage a more comprehensive assessment of patients, based on the combined assessment of symptoms, degree of airflow limitation, risk of exacerbation and the presence of comorbidities. Recommendations for evidence-based preventive measures, as well as pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies for the management of both stable and acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are provided in this update.