Campaign shows many could have lung problems

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ONE in three people were found to have a lung problem when they had a free check up at a roadshow.

As reported, The Know It, Check It, Treat It event stopped off for a day in Gosport, Fareham, Havant and Portsmouth, to check people for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

This includes diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

More than 200 people in the Portsmouth area went along, and of the 238 tested, 78 (32.7 per cent) – or one in three – returned a result suggesting either COPD or another undiagnosed respiratory condition such as asthma.

All were urged to seek advice from their GP.

Portsmouth and Gosport had particularly high returns.

Of the 63 people tested in Gosport, 29 people – 46 per cent – were advised to see their GP – with 15 showing signs of COPD and 14 other breathing problems.

Havant almost returned a clean bill of health – with just two – four per cent – out of 50 tests flagging up a possible problem, with neither of these being COPD.

Dr Andrew Whittamore, is a GP and partner for the Portsdown Group Practice, in Crookhorn Lane Surgery, and the clinical lead for the South Central Respiratory Programme.

He said: ‘It’s hard to put a finger on precisely why the results were so much more startling in Gosport and Portsmouth.

‘However what these screening sessions did reveal was that an alarmingly high number of those people tested do have potential issues which need addressing.

‘None of them had been diagnosed with breathing problems, so it’s possible that the fears of the number of potential sufferers may, if anything, be on the low side.

‘We had two main aims with this campaign – to raise awareness of COPD in the minds of the public and local healthcare professionals, and to increase the diagnosis of COPD.’

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