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Article: 1292376 | Received 19 Jun 2016, Accepted 17 Jan 2017, Published online: 08 Mar 2017
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Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is very prevalent worldwide, yet underdiagnosed.

Aim: This study investigates feasibility of performing spirometry in patients in need of acute hospital admission as well as the prevalence of undiagnosed COPD in the same cohort.

Methods: During a two-week period, all patients admitted to three large acute assessment units were evaluated. Patients ≥ 18 years, able to perform spirometry, with no surgery to the thorax or abdomen within the last weeks and no known COPD was included. Patients with FEV1/FEV6 ≤ 0.7 or FEV1 < 80% or FEV6 < 80% were offered follow-up visit after 6 weeks.

Results: Of the 1145 admitted patients, 46% were eligible: 28% of those had an abnormal spirometry. The offered follow-up visit was attended by 51% and in this group 17% were diagnosed with lung disease. COPD was the most prevalent diagnosis (73%), and 2/3 was in GOLD group A. In total, 75% of the patients with airflow obstruction at the initial examination remained obstructive.

Conclusion: Performing spirometry in patients in need of acute hospital admission is feasible, abnormal findings are common, and COPD is the most prevalent diagnosis.

Additional author information

Karin D. Eikhof

Karin D. Eikhof is a registered nurse, responsible for Development and research in the Acute Assessment Unit at Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.

Kristine R. Olsen

Kristine R. Olsen is a registered nurse with working in the Scientific Department at Naestved Hospital, Naestved, Denmark.

N. C. H. Wrengler

N. C. H. Wrengler is a Medical Student at University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen is a Medical Doctor, and head of Department at the Department of Respiratory Diseases at Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark. He has scientifically been involved in telemonitoring of patients with COPD.

Uffe Bodtger

Uffe Bodtger is a Medical Doctor and Ph.D. He is clinically founded at Naestved Hospital and is an associate professor connected to University of Southern Denmark, and is scientifically working with different aspects of dyspnea. He is member of the board of the Danish Thoracic Society.

Ingrid L. Titlestad

Ingrid L. Titlestad is a Medical Doctor and PhD. She is an associate professor at University of Southern Denmark. Scientifically she works with COPD and is interested in COPD epidemiology. She is a board member of the Danish Thoracic Society.

Ulla M. Weinreich

Ulla M. Weinreich is a Medical Doctor and PhD. She is an associate professor at Aalborg- and Aarhus University. Scientifically She works with COPD physiology, epideomiology and early diagnosis of disease.


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