Life Health & Wellbeing

Thursday 27 October 2016

COPD too often undetected

Published 24/11/2015 | 02:30

COPD often goes undetected in people.
COPD often goes undetected in people.

Many people who suffer from COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an umbrella term for bronchitis or emphysema - are unaware they have the condition.

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Symptoms of persistent cough with phlegm, chest infections and breathlessness are not normal and can be checked by a simple spirometry test.

Professor Tim McDonnell, consultant respiratory physician at St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, is encouraging people to listen to their bodies and to get tested.

Last year, just over one-in-five of people who availed of free tests, organised by COPD Ireland, were referred to their GP for further examination on the basis of abnormal spirometry. More than two-thirds of these already had symptoms but had not sought medical advice.

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