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Wednesday 20th June 2018

13% of Brits receive potentially life-saving lung tests on World Spirometry Day

27th October 2010

Of the 3,625 people across the UK who took part in mass lung screening events held last week, 13% of tests were flagged for potentially irregular results.  Those patients were advised to visit their doctors for further examination – helping them to identify potentially serious lung conditions that would have otherwise gone undiagnosed.

Last Thursday, 14th October, 24 free public lung testing events took place around the UK to mark the first ever World Spirometry Day, an event to raise awareness of lung disease and early testing. In total, 61,376 spirometry tests were carried out over the world.

80 Brits die of preventable lung conditions each day with thousands more facing a long and painful old age due to conditions that are treatable if caught early through proper tests like spirometry – the fastest and most accurate way to measure lung health and screen for potentially fatal diseases. 

Making every breath count
While doctors and nurses were pleased with the turnout, they also urged more Brits to get tested.  Spirometric lung function tests are like an MOT for the lungs – giving people invaluable early information about potentially fatal, but largely preventable, diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – an umbrella term for chronic bronchitis and emphysema, in which the airways to the lungs become narrowed.

Having a spirometry test performed to screen for lung disease is recommended for those over 40 or current or former smokers. Indeed, recent studies have found that lung function tests help smokers assess and identify diseases like lung cancer in the early stages of development.

 “The results of our first ever global public lung testing day illustrate just how many Brits could be facing the prospect of a slow, painful and debilitating old age due to lung diseases that were identified too late.  Regular proper lung tests, like those using spirometers, are the only way smokers and other people with poor respiratory health can take back control of their health – both now and for the future,” said Monica Fletcher, Chair of the European Lung Foundation.

“The connection between breath and life is fundamental, yet the evidence shows that lung health is low on the agenda for both individuals and public health policy,” said European Respiratory Society President Professor Marc Decramer, one of the sponsor organisations of World Spirometry Day. “Lung diseases are set to become the third leading global killer by 2020, and threaten to ruin millions of people’s quality of life each day.  Today’s spirometry testing highlights just how critical awareness, proper testing and early action are in helping people make every breath count.”

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