Spirometric testing on World COPD Day
Tanja Grzetic-Romcevic1 Boris Devcic2 Silvana Sonc1
1Department of Pneumonology, Hospital Sezana, Sezana, Slovenia; 2Clinical Department of Respiratory Diseases and Allergy, University Clinical Center, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Background: To determine the importance of spirometric testing for early detection of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: Spirometric testing has been performed annually on World COPD Day in Sezana from 2003. Sezana is in a semiurban region of Slovenia, with 12,000 inhabitants. The investigation was performed between January 2003 and December 2008. In total, 770 persons were enrolled (414 females and 356 males). The participants were recruited by mass media appeals. Smokers aged ≥40 years with a smoking history of ≥10 pack-years were invited to visit the local chest clinic. The participants completed a questionnaire and had spirometry performed. Subjects with a postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity <0.70 were defined as having COPD, according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines.
Results: We identified that 16.2% of subjects had impaired lung function. Of these, 10.2% had an obstructive pattern of ventilatory impairment and 6% had a restrictive pattern. We identified 79 individuals with COPD. Subjects with COPD were >70 years in 40.5% in cases. The majority of individuals with COPD were men (74.6%), and 90% were smokers. COPD was mild in 52% of subjects, moderate in 34%, and severe in 14%. The majority of subjects had a milder stage of the disease, and 92% of those with COPD (72/79) had not been recognized to have COPD previously.
Conclusion: These results suggest that spirometry testing could detect patients with COPD in the earlier stages of the disease.
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, epidemiology, smoking, spirometry
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