A leading expert on the crippling lung illness chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) today called for smokers to take a simple lung function test (spirometry) during their annual physical exam to determine whether their respiratory system was being compromised by their cigarette habit.
Bartolome Celli, M.D., speaking at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in San Francisco, said if the patient's lung function is affected they can get help in quitting smoking and reduce their risk of suffering from this serious lung disease. Once a patient is aware of the problem, they can also get treatment.
"Smoking cessation is the single best method and the most cost-effective way of reducing the risk of developing COPD or stopping its progression," said Dr. Celli, Professor of Medicine at Tufts University, Boston.
William J. Martin, II, M.D., Floyd and Reba Smith Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University Health Care Center and outgoing President of the ATS, said: "We need to improve the early detection of COPD by increasing the availability of a simple spirometry machine in the offices of primary care physicians. These physicians and their nurses take care of the vast majority of people at risk for COPD. Once properly diagnosed through spirometry, COPD can be effectively managed."
The two physicians joined other experts including Romaine Pauwels, MD., Professor, Department of Respiratory Diseases, Universitair Ziekkenhuis, Belgium, and Claude Lenfant, M.D., Director of the U.S. National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute to discuss the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). The experts were focusing on the way the ATS can assist in GOLD's international efforts to help millions of people worldwide who suffer from this potentially crippling disease.
COPD is a term used to describe chronic bronchitis and emphysema. A slowly progressive lung disease characterized by a gradual loss of lung function,
Contact: Jim Augustine
American Thoracic Society