Contribution of spirometry to early diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary health care centers

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease with increasing prevalence and mortality. We aimed to determine COPD prevalence in primary health care centers. Materials and methods: Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and face-to-face interviews were administered to 500 patients older than 40 years of age and attending a primary health care center with any symptoms. An early reversibility test was performed on patients with a forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio below 70%. The survey results, PFTs, and early reversibility test results were evaluated according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria. All parameters were compared for groups with and without COPD. Results: COPD was diagnosed in 25 (5%) of the patients. Of these patients, 60% were female and 40% were male. According to GOLD guidelines, 48% of the patients had mild COPD, 36% of them had moderate COPD, and 16% of them had severe COPD. According to their history and physical examination, 72 (14.4%) participants had been previously suspected of having COPD. PFTs revealed that 59 of them did not have COPD. Conclusion: The utilization of spirometers in primary health care centers is important both for early diagnosis and to prevent misdiagnosis of COPD.


Key words: COPD, prevalence, spirometry, early diagnosis, primary care

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