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Low cost tests to help China's battle to identify COPD sufferers

07 October 2021 | News

Simple screening tests can help identify undiagnosed COPD within China’s primary care network

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Researchers working with primary care patients in China have discovered that a simple questionnaire and airflow measurement test could identify adults suffering with undiagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) reveals.

COPD is a long-term condition characterised by persistent breathing problems. Nearly one-third of the 3.2 million annual global deaths it causes are from China, where the disease ranks among the top three leading causes of death.

Those taking part completed a study questionnaire covering demographics, smoking status, medical diagnoses, respiratory symptoms and quality of life, as well as taking a short microspirometry reference test.

"Further work is needed to fully assess clinical efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but this simple combination of questionnaire and breathing test is a promising, low cost option to be used across China to provide early diagnosis of COPD", according to the international research team, led by experts at the University of Birmingham, UK.

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