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Just under a million people in the UK are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet an estimated three mi

Royal Brompton experts give shoppers vital lung health check

 

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Monday, 16 November 2009

 

Royal Brompton experts give shoppers vital lung health check

 

Just under a million people in the UK are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet an estimated three million people are living with the condition undiagnosed. This year health professionals will mark the eighth annual World COPD Day by promoting lung health and disease prevention worldwide.

 

On World COPD Day, Wednesday, 18 November 2009, shoppers and visitors at Whiteleys in Queensway, London will be offered free lung health screening by some of the country’s leading respiratory doctors from Royal Brompton Hospital, who will be available to give expert advice.

 

COPD is an umbrella term for a number of conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Such conditions are progressive and irreversible and kill approximately 30,000 people a year in the UK – more than breast, bowel or prostate cancer.

 

Leading the awareness day at Whiteleys, Professor Michael Polkey, consultant respiratory physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, said,

“COPD is a long-term, incurable condition that can have serious effects on health and quality of life. Without treatment, patients can become breathless during everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, or even getting washed and dressed in the morning.

 

“The average age at which COPD is diagnosed in the UK is 67, usually after many years of less severe symptoms. This means that many people are unaware that they are living with this potentially life threatening disease. The purpose of today’s lung testing at Whiteleys is to help find these missing millions. Without early diagnosis and treatment these lives will be lost or severely restricted.  We are particularly interested in finding current smokers since smoking cessation slows progression of the disease.  New treatments have made it easier to quit.”

  

Shoppers and visitors at Whiteleys are encouraged to visit Royal Brompton Hospital’s stand where they can take a spirometry test. The five minute test measures lung capacity and involves blowing out into a mouthpiece connected to a portable respiratory device. The test shows how well the lungs are functioning and assesses any disease symptoms.

 

Results are immediate and specialist respiratory doctors and healthcare professionals from the hospital will be available to give expert advice on the disease. Information on smoking cessation and heart and lung 'fitness' will also be provided with literature available to take home.

 

Royal Brompton Hospital’s lung screening stand will be positioned near the Porchester entrance of Whiteleys Shopping Centre, Queensway, London W2 4YN. It will be open from 09:00 until 17:30 on Wednesday, 18 November 2009.

 

People over the age of 35 who smoke are at risk of developing irreparable lung disease. A study by the British Lung Foundation found that 85 per cent of smokers have never heard of COPD, which affects not only a person’s ability to breathe, but also limits, their social and daily life.  

 

Ends/

 

For further information please contact:

Shima Islam, head of media relations

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 020 7351 8672 (Brompton)

Tel: 01895 828 877 (Harefield)

Mobile: 07866 536 345

Email: S.Islam@rbht.nhs.uk

 

Notes to editors:

 

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust is the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK and among the largest in Europe. The Trust helps patients from all age groups who have heart and lung problems.

 

People over the age of 35 who smoke are at risk of developing irreparable lung disease. A study by the British Lung Foundation found that 85 per cent of smokers have never heard of COPD, which affects not only a person’s ability to breathe, but also limits, their social and daily life.  

 

COPD is also linked to exposure to environmental pollution and hazards at work including dust, fumes and gases. The Trust helps over 8,000 adults who have breathing problems caused by diseases such as COPD and severe asthma.

 

World COPD Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the world. The theme of this year's event is Breathless not Helpless!

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