Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Zielinski J., Bednarek M., GÚrecka D., Viegi G., Hurd S., Fukuchi Y., Lai C. K. W., Ran P. X., Ko F. W. S., Liu S. M., Zheng J. P., Zhong N. S., Ip M. S. M., Vermeire P. A. Increasing COPD awareness. In: European Respiratory Journal, vol. 27 pp. 833 - 852. ERS Journal, 2006.
Early diagnosis and smoking cessation are the only available methods to stop the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of early detection of airflow limitation (AL) in a population with high risk for COPD, using spirometric screening. Smokers aged o40 yrs with a smoking history of o10 pack-yrs were invited to visit a local outpatient chest clinic for simple spirometry (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC)). Smoking history was recorded, followed by smoking cessation advice relating the results of spirometry to the smoking behaviour. Subjects who did not fulfil the above criteria (younger and/or nonsmokers) were also screened. A total 110,355 subjects were investigated; they were aged 53.5°11.5 yrs and 58.2% were males. Of the total amount of subjects, 64% were current smokers, 25.1% were former smokers and 10.9% were lifelong non smokers. Spirometry tests were within normal values for 70.3%, and 20.3% showed signs of AL: this was mild in 7.6%,moderate in 6.7% and severe in 5.9%. The remaining 8.3% of subjects presented with a restrictive pattern of ventilatory impairment. Airflow limitation was found in 23% of smokers aged o40 yrs with a history of o10 pack-yrs.This study concluded that large-scale voluntary spirometry screening of the population with high risk for COPD detects a large number of subjects with AL.
Subject COPD

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