Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study says COPD testing is not measuring up

15.08.2007
Spirometry is underutilized in patients, over-reported by doctors

Spirometry testing is a widely accepted and encouraged diagnostic method for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but new research shows that it is not used nearly enough. The study appears in the August issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and reports that only one-third of patients with a COPD diagnosis ever received spirometry testing.

“Without proper testing, both underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis may occur, which can lead to improper therapies being prescribed,” said lead author MeiLan Han, MD, MS, University of Michigan, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “This study shows that we have a lot of work ahead of us in terms of raising awareness among both patients and physicians.”

Along with colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Dr. Han identified patients with newly diagnosed COPD by data collected from five health plans. The study examined patients aged 40 years and older, and determined if patients with a new diagnosis of COPD had received spirometry in the preceeding 720 days. Of the 5,039 eligible patients identified, only 32% were found to have received spirometry testing. Furthermore, only half of those patients received follow-up bronchodilator testing to confirm their diagnosis.

“In order to distinguish COPD from other diseases, such as asthma, spirometry must be measured both before and after administration of medication that dilates the airways,” Dr. Han explained. “As such, if COPD is suspected, initial spirometric testing should include bronchodilator testing too, in order for that patient to receive a truly diagnostic test.”

In addition, the study notes that these numbers contradict previous findings in which over 70% of physicians reported using spirometry for establishing a COPD diagnosis. Given the contrast, Dr. Han suggests a possible difference between what physicians say and what they actually do. Also of particular concern was that, according to this study, spirometry testing in those patients who were 75 years and older was performed less frequently, with only 28% of patients in this population receiving spirometry. Researchers point to the issue of ageism and question whether or not a patient’s age influences a physician’s decision to order diagnostic testing.

“The bad news is that we have significant room for improvement. The good news is that we have to know a problem exists before we can fix it, and now we know,” said Dr. Han. Other good news is that women and men fared virtually the same when it came to spirometry testing, despite previous reports suggesting women were tested less often.

“COPD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and the economic burden of this disease is measured in the billions of dollars but, despite this, it is so often underdiagnosed or misclassified,” said Dr. Han. “Prior to this study, I did not truly appreciate the magnitude of spirometry underutilization, but my hope is that this study will lead to more correct diagnoses and better care of patients.”

“Spirometry testing is an inexpensive, quick, and painless procedure, which is necessary to confirm a COPD diagnosis,” said Mark J. Rosen, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. “In order to make a shift in the underutilization of spirometry, physicians need to use all of the resources available to them, and patients need to actively inquire about their care.”

The National Lung Health Education Program suggests that current and former smokers aged 45 years and older, as well as any patient who experiences cough, shortness of breath with exertion, or wheezing, ask their doctor about having a spirometry test performed.

Jennifer Stawarz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.chestnet.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>