Physicians' group says adding spirometry to clinical exams benefits those with symptoms
MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A new clinical guideline for diagnosing and treating the lung illness known as stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been released by the American College of Physicians (ACP).
COPD, typically caused by smoking, causes a gradual loss of lung function. It affects more than 5 percent of American adults and is the fourth leading cause of death and the 12th leading cause of illness in the United States. Symptoms range from chronic cough and wheezing to shortness of breath and significant limitation of activity.
According to the guideline:
"The evidence does not support using spirometry as a diagnostic strategy for individuals not reporting respiratory symptoms," guideline co-author Dr. Steven Weinberger, the ACP's senior vice president of medical education and publishing, said in a prepared statement. "However, adding spirometry to clinical examinations for individuals with respiratory symptoms, especially shortness of breath, has demonstrated benefits," he added.
The guideline, based on a review of published studies, was published in the Nov. 6 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about COPD.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: American College of Physicians, news release, Nov. 5, 2007
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