CT scans intended to detect lung cancer can also find undiagnosed COPD, according to research presented at the British Thoracic Society winter meeting.

More than a third (38.5%) of people who had been screened displayed signs of undiagnosed COPD.

Commenting on the research, Dr Carolyn Horst, Radiology Registrar and researcher at University College London, said:

“This study is significant in showing us that lung cancer screening offers an opportunity to check whether a patient is showing signs of undiagnosed COPD as well as lung cancer. Many of the individuals in the study with these undiagnosed lung diseases were smokers, and their health was often worsening due to their tobacco dependence.

“Looking to the future, it shows that screening can be an even more pivotal time to offer smoking cessation advice and support. Quitting smoking is often the best treatment for COPD and can help prevent further progression of disease, providing a better quality of life.”

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