Advertisement
  • JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study is part of an international research, which requires countries to provide data on the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) in their location.
    • It is being funded jointly by the National Health Fund (NHF) and the UWI Principal’s Initiative Fund, and is being conducted over an eight-month period.
    • Wednesday, November 19, is being observed world-wide as ‘World COPD Day’ under the theme: ‘It’s Not Too Late.’

    Researchers from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Medicine are appealing to persons, who have been selected to participate in the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study, not be fearful of the spirometry testing that is being administered under the research.

    The BOLD study is part of an international research, which requires countries to provide data on the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) in their location.

    It is being funded jointly by the National Health Fund (NHF) and the UWI Principal’s Initiative Fund, and is being conducted over an eight-month period.

    In an interview with JIS News, BOLD Project Lead and Principal Investigator of the UWI Department of Medicine Pulmonary Research Group, Dr. Althea Aquart-Stewart, explained that her team has been having difficulty getting persons to agree to do the spirometry testing, which is a key component of the study.

    “Spirometry is a special breathing test that looks at the patient’s lung function. The patient is asked to take the deepest possible breath then exhale into a device called a spirometer then the patient’s airflow is assessed. The patient is then given two puffs of an inhaler (Ventolin or Salbutamol). The response to medication administered when the test is repeated 20 minutes later, is what helps to diagnose Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) and differentiate it from asthma,” she explained.

    She said that COPD is a preventable disease that occurs in people with a history of chronic cigarette smoking, chronic exposure to second hand smoke or chemicals, or chronic indoor or outdoor air pollution.

    “These patients have persistent shortness of breath, cough, and sputum production” she added.

    Dr. Aquart-Stewart pointed out that the progressive disease can rob the older patient of quality of life.

    “The shortness of breath is progressive to the point that patients, if they survive, may require home oxygen. It affects the lungs where it causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchi -the tubes which conduct air in the lungs- and also causes patients to develop heart disease, and because of their limited ability to exercise, diabetes” she noted.

    Wednesday, November 19, is being observed world-wide as ‘World COPD Day’ under the theme: ‘It’s Not Too Late.’ The theme emphasises the fact that it is not too late to stop smoking as quitting prevents further decline in lung function.

    Dr. Aquart-Stewart said “It’s not too late to do spirometry either. If you are diagnosed with COPD you can get treatment and prolong your quality of life.”

    The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by the year 2030, COPD will become the third leading cause of death world-wide.

    Skip to content