Experts warn that tens of thousands of people in the UK may be undiagnosed with serious lung disease.

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Experts warn that tens of thousands of people in the United Kingdom may be suffering from undiagnosed serious lung disease.

According to the British Lung Foundation, Covid restrictions have resulted in a significant increase in the number of undiagnosed cases of COPD.

The British Lung Foundation has warned that more than 45,000 people in the UK may be living with a serious lung disease and are unaware of it because diagnosis rates have halved in the last year.

According to the largest ever survey of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), up to 46,000 people had persistent symptoms of the disorder in the previous 12 months, such as breathlessness, coughing, and wheezing, but were not diagnosed.

This is most likely due to the suspension of critical diagnostic breathing tests due to concerns about the spread of Covid, as well as long wait times for specialists in general and low public awareness of the disease.

COPD refers to a group of lung diseases that affect an estimated 2.6 million people in the UK and cause breathing problems such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

“It’s heartbreaking that people with COPD go undiagnosed and untreated,” said Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation.

“The rising number of undiagnosed COPD patients is a ticking time bomb for the NHS” Before the pandemic, treating COPD patients with a delayed diagnosis put a huge strain on our health system.

“With Covid-19 having such a significant impact on diagnosis rates, the pressure will only grow if nothing is done,” she explained.

People should have a specific diagnostic test called spirometry and be asked about smoking, work, and lifestyle history to get an accurate diagnosis of COPD, according to the foundation.

In order to do so, they must be able to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician or a respiratory nurse.

However, because of concerns about the spread of Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic, NHS England advised GPs to stop using spirometry in March 2020.

“We need to make a concerted effort to find people with COPD and offer them the treatment they need,” Alison Cook, Director of External Affairs at Asthma UK and Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, a collaboration of over 30 different charities, organizations, and patients working to improve lung health, said.

This entails raising awareness that breathlessness is not normal as people age, so people will seek medical help if they notice a change.”

Experts warn that tens of thousands of people in the UK may be undiagnosed with serious lung disease.

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Tens of thousands of people in UK could be living with undiagnosed serious lung disease, experts warn

Tens of thousands of people in UK could be living with undiagnosed serious lung disease, experts warn

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