The increased age of a general practitioner correlated with the decreased likelihood of spirometry testing, according to Danish researchers, who found practice characteristics accounted for some of the variation in spirometry testing among patients receiving first-time prescriptions for medication targeting COPD.

Partnership practices were the most likely to perform spirometry, at a 1.24-fold greater odds than single-handed practices. But among single-handed practices, those with training practice status were 40% more likely to perform spirometry — a finding that was not replicated in partnership practices.

The lowest likelihood for testing was among physicians older than 65 years, who were 67% less likely to perform spirometry than physicians aged 45 years and younger. This effect was particularly pronounced in partnership practices, where doctors over 65 were 75% less likely to perform spirometry than their younger counterparts.

No associations were found between the odds for spirometry and the number of doctors, number of patients per doctor, nor the gender of doctors.