Are You at Risk for COPD?
To measure personal COPD risk, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Did you start smoking as a teenager?
2. Do you now or have you in the past smoked at least ten cigarettes a day?
3. Did you grow up in a household where one or more of your parents smoked?
4. Do your colds tend to develop a lingering cough?
5. Do you become short of breath when you walk briskly for less than a block?
6. Do you become short of breath when you climb stairs?
7. Do you work in a job where air quality is monitored by OSHA (eg cotton mills, bakery factory or printing plant?
8. Have you ever been told that you have asthma?
9. Do you live or work near smokestack industrial plants?
10. Have you ever had pneumonia?
If you answered yes to at least three of these questions, you are considered at increased risk for COPD. Make certain that you request a lung function test (called spirometry) to be added to your annual physical. The earlier COPD is diagnosed, the earlier you can receive proper treatment.