COPD is a lung disease that often results from years of heavy smoking. Researchers now say that a new, non-invasive test measuring lung hyperinflation can be used to predict the risk of death in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) .
For the study researchers compared inspiratory capacity -- how much air is breathed in -- to total lung capacity in 689 COPD patients. Results showed 42 percent of the patients who took the new test scored below the 25 percent cutoff point, while 58 percent of patients scored higher than 25 percent. Among patients who died during follow-up, 71 percent scored below 25 percent.
Thus researchers believe the new test may be an effective tool to help determine mortality in patients suffering from COPD and they recommend the test be used in future evaluations of COPD patients.