MORE than a quarter of those who took a lung test at a special event in Wrexham were referred to their doctors for further investigation.

According to the British Lung Foundation (BLF) which carried out the tests, the results show the importance of people with a persistent cough or other typical symptoms going along to their GP to be checked out.

BLF holds regular lung-testing events across the country.

There are an estimated 3.7 million people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the UK, yet only 900,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease.

One of the main aims of the testing events is finding these missing millions so they can get the diagnosis and treatment they need.

The Wrexham event in the Memorial Hall, was held at the same time as testing sessions in Welshpool, Haverfordwest and Llandudno.

Wrexham shared the highest referral rate with Welshpool while other two locations both recorded 16 per cent.

At the Memorial Hall 49 people were tested, with 13 being referred to their GP. Of the total number tested, aged 29-81, 18 had never smoked, 26 had given up smoking and five were current smokers.

Of the 13 referred to the GPs, two had never smoked, five were women and eight were men

Youngest person referred was 38, and the oldest was 81.

Chris Mulholland, head of BLF Wales, said: “Our lung tests this year have shown again that there are lots of people who may have lung problems but aren’t aware of it.

“Another striking result is that half of the people with below-average readings have never smoked.

“It shows that we can’t just focus on smokers.

“We need to encourage everyone who has a persistent cough or other typical symptoms to go along to their GP to be checked out.

“This is why BLF Wales is calling for lung testing to be offered to all patients over 35, who show symptoms such as a persistent cough.”

Jenny Jones from Mold was diagnosed three years ago with COPD.

She said: “I went to my doctor to get tested because I noticed that I was always out of breath.

“When I found out I had COPD I thought my life was over. I was wrong.

“If there’s one message I could put out there it would be – it’s not over.

“I was lucky enough to find a Breathe Easy Group. With the support of the group members and experts that attend our meetings I learned how to live with COPD.”

Breathe Easy Groups operate in Wrexham and Mold.

The Wrexham group meets on the second Wednesday of the month, from 2-4pm, at Llay Community Centre, and the Mold group meets on the third Thursday of the month (2-4pm) at the Daniel Owen Centre.