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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 00:00 GMT
Lung disease 'hot spots' outlined
X-ray showing emphysema in the lungs
Illnesses such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema kill thousands
People in the west of Scotland are at greater risk from a killer lung disease than those elsewhere in the UK, according to new research.

The British Lung Foundation has named Glasgow and Lanarkshire as the top two UK "hotspots" for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The condition kills more than 4,500 Scots every year but many people do not know they have it.

The charity is calling for targeted NHS campaigns in known hotspots.

COPD is an umbrella term for a number of illnesses including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

The British Lung Foundation has published a map which identifies areas across the UK where people are most at risk of being taken to hospital with the condition.

If people with COPD can be diagnosed earlier, we could dramatically reduce the death rate and human suffering
Andrew Powrie-Smith
British Lung Foundation Scotland

The research suggested residents in Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Lanarkshire were 52% and 44% more at risk of hospital admission with COPD respectively, than the UK average.

Orkney came bottom of the list - with people there 46% less at risk of being taken to hospital.

Andrew Powrie-Smith, head of the British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "This disease blights the lives of those who have it and places a huge burden on the NHS.

"If people with COPD can be diagnosed earlier, we could dramatically reduce the death rate and human suffering from this debilitating disease."

The charity estimated that 2.8m people in the UK had COPD but did not know it.

It urged people living in high risk areas to ask their GP for a lung test, and it called on the NHS to carry out targeted health campaigns to identify sufferers.



SEE ALSO
Cards urge action on lung disease
20 Dec 06 |  Scotland
Much lung disease 'undiagnosed'
20 Sep 06 |  Health

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