Leicester NHS urges patients to have lung check-up

Man undergoing a breathing test
Image caption A simple breathing test can confirm a diagnosis of COPD

Patients in Leicester who are at risk of developing a serious lung condition are being asked to have a check-up.

Experts estimate about 3,000 people in Leicester could have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and not realise it.

Leicester City Primary Care Trust is sending letters to patients asking them to have a lung function test.

COPD is a term used to describe a number of conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Brian Vann, who suffers from COPD, said: "The tests are not hard - it doesn't hurt you. It is so easy to blow down a tube - there is nothing to it."

Prof Azhar Farooq, of Leicester City Primary Care Trust, said there were already 4,700 people in Leicester diagnosed with the disease.

"Lung and breathing problems are a key contributor to early death in the city, and people in Leicester on average are living shorter lives than in many other parts of the country," he said.

"COPD is the third biggest cause of death in the city and smoking is the biggest cause of COPD."

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