World Spirometry Day

World Spirometry Day (WSD) is approaching on June 27, and the COPD Alliance is partnering with OneBreath and several other professional organizations on an outreach event in Chicago that will bring attention to the importance of spirometry as an easy to use tool to help with the evaluation of a person who is suspected to have lung disease, such as COPD or asthma.

The clinicians who are staffing the event in Chicago that will help to determine whether a patient might be at risk for COPD.  They will then use a simple spirometer that will help determine whether COPD might be present. These spirometers are also helpful to determine a person’s “lung age.”  Spirometry is a breathing test that can be administered in your clinician’s office or in the hospital, and the results can be seen and interpreted at the time of the test. Spirometry is the only definitive test to diagnose COPD, and it is a useful tool in evaluating the severity of asthma.

COPD is a chronic lung disease characterized by shortness of breath and a persistent cough and is prevalent in smokers. COPD is estimated to affect 24 million people in the United States and is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the third leading cause of death, yet it is estimated that as many as 50% of those with COPD remain undiagnosed. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects another 22 million Americans of all ages and can usually be controlled by working with your clinician by developing an asthma action plan.

Those 35 years of age and older with a smoking history should consider asking their primary care practitioner about whether this simple spirometry test is appropriate for them. If you are interested in attending the event in Chicago or finding an event near you, visit the World Spirometry Day website .


Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP is a board certified Pulmonologist who has been active in both academic and private practice for many years in Pennsylvania. Dr. Carlin is a leading proponent of lung health and has held leadership positions in the American College of Chest Physicians, National Lung Health Education Program, and the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

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