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Clinical Investigations |

Early Detection of COPD in a High-Risk Population Using Spirometric Screening*

Jan Zieliñski, MD, PhD, FCCP; Michał Bednarek, MD,;
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Warsaw, Poland.

A complete list of investigators of the Know the Age of Your Lung Study Group is located in the Appendix.

Correspondence to: Jan Zieliñski, MD, PhD, FCCP, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Plocka 26, 01–138 Warsaw, Poland; e-mail: j.zielinski@igichp.edu.pl



Chest. 2001;119(3):731-736. doi:10.1378/chest.119.3.731
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Published online

Study objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of mass spirometry use for the detection of airflow obstruction in a high-risk population.

Design: Free spirometry was offered to smokers who were > 39 years of age with a smoking history of > 10 pack-years. Action was preceded by the dissemination of information on the causes and symptoms of COPD in the local mass media.

Setting: Pulmonary outpatient clinics in 12 large cities of Poland.

Participants: Eleven thousand twenty-seven subjects with the following characteristics were screened: mean (± SD) age, 51.8 ± 12.5 years; men, 57%; current or ex-smokers, 80%; and mean smoking history, 26.1 ± 16.8 pack-years.

Interventions: Smoking history, simple spirometry (FVC and FEV1), and an antismoking advice.

Results: Spirometric signs of airway obstruction were found in 24.3% of the subjects who were screened. Of those subjects, mild obstruction was found in 9.5%, moderate obstruction was found in 9.6%, and severe obstruction was found in 5.2%. In smokers aged ≥ 40 years who had a smoking history of > 10 pack-years, airway obstruction was found in 30.6%. Airway obstruction was present in 8.3% of smokers < 40 years of age who had a smoking history of < 10 pack-years. Of the 2,200 subjects who had never smoked in their lives, airway obstruction was found in 14.4%.

Conclusions: Mass spirometry in high-risk groups is an effective and easy method for the early detection of COPD.

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