20 October 2010
More than 400 people in Jersey took free lung health tests (known as spirometry) when they were offered last week by the Health and Social Services Department as part of World Spirometry Day (14 October).
Free clinics were held at the General Hospital, Island Medical Centre, Indigo House Medical Practice and Health Plus to encourage Islanders to get their lungs tested for an early indication of respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (when the airways to the lungs become narrowed).
430 Islanders attended the free clinics with 404 completing the spirometry test successfully. 31% of those tested were found to have some degree of airway obstruction and their results were sent to their GP for more tests. A further 21% had some minor degree of obstruction, suggesting only mild changes to the lungs, meaning they could potentially maintain relatively good lung function with appropriate medical intervention.
Consultant respiratory physician, Dr Andrew Luksza, said “I’m delighted with the number of people who attended these free events. Spirometry testing gives people invaluable early information about potentially fatal, but largely preventable respiratory diseases.
“I’d like to thank Health and Social Services staff involved in the day, the Jersey Asthma and Respiratory Society and the States of Jersey for their support, and of course all the Islanders who attended the events.”
Spirometry testing is recommended for those over 40 as well as current or former smokers. In a recent study, smokers with abnormalities on their lung function tests were at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
People who were unable to make the events on 14 October are being advised that spirometry testing is available from selected GP surgeries and at the asthma and respiratory information mornings held at the General Hospital on Saturdays between 9am and 12 noon. Appointments can be made on +44 (0) 1534 444032.
More than 74,000 spirometry tests were carried out at 234 events around the globe on World Spirometry Day. This figure is expected to increase as further results are submitted by 458 other events.