Early detection of COPD may reduce the future burden of the disease. We aimed to investigate whether prescreening with a COPD-6 screening device (measuring FEV 1 and FEV 6) facilitates early detection of COPD in primary care.
In primary care, individuals at high risk of COPD (ie, age ≥35 years, relevant exposure, and at least one respiratory symptom) and no previous diagnosis of obstructive lung disease were examined with a COPD-6 screening device. In prioritized order, the criteria for proceeding to confirmatory spirometry were FEV 1/FEV 6 <0.7, FEV 1 <80%pred, or clinical suspicion of COPD regardless of test result (medical doctor’s [MD] decision). Based on spirometry, including bronchodilator (BD) reversibility test, individuals were classified as COPD (post-BD FEV 1/FVC <0.70), asthma (ΔFEV 1 ≥0.50 L), or no obstructive lung disease.
A total of 2,990 subjects (54% men, mean age 59 years, and mean 28 pack-years) were enrolled, of whom 949 (32%) proceeded from COPD-6 screening to confirmative spirometry based on the following criteria: 510 (54%) FEV 1/FEV 6 <0.70, 382 (40%) FEV 1 <80%pred, and 57 (6%) MD decision. Following confirmative spirometry, the 949 individuals were diagnosed as having COPD (51%), asthma (3%), and no obstructive lung disease (45%). COPD was diagnosed in 487 (16%) of the enrolled subjects in whom confirmative spirometry was performed in 69% based on FEV 1/FEV 6 <0.7 and in 29% based on FEV 1 ≤80%pred.