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Simple tool helps in COPD screening

I enjoyed the recent issue devoted to COPD. We have been actively case-finding for early COPD for more than two years at our practice.

In order to deliver this efficiently, I and my practice nurse specialist have developed a simple tool for screening: it is called the pack-year calculator and it became available in June 2007.

Those patients over 40 who have more than 15 pack-years are offered a free lung check using spirometry. About one in 10 have COPD.

The tool is freely available at It is easy to use and functions well online. To date it has had more than 4,000 unique visitors and over 100,000 hits.

Dr Nigel Masters, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

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