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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Screening

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease that, over time, makes it hard to breathe. You may also have heard COPD called other names, like emphysema or chronic bronchitis. In people who have COPD, the airways—tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs—are partially blocked, which makes it hard to get air in and out.

When COPD is severe, symptoms such as shortness of breath can get in the way of even the most basic tasks, such as doing light housework, taking a walk, and even washing and dressing.

Screening for COPD

  • 6 for Life Health Assessment
    • A disease risk assessment screening, 6 for Life is a written, personalized report that measures your risk for six major, chronic diseases including COPD. You receive a risk score for each disease condition — the report also identifies modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. Learn more

Who should have a 6 for Life assessment?

  • People who want to be proactive about their health
  • Anyone with relevant risk factors
  • Anyone with a family history of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, congestive heart failure, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and/or lung cancer

How often should I get a 6 for Life assessment?

  • Annually, if you are high risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, congestive heart failure, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and/or lung cancer
  • Every three to five years, if your biometric values are normal

*Recommended guidelines only. Consult with your physician.

How do I prepare for a 6 for Life assessment?

  • 6 for Life includes blood testing for cholesterol and glucose, you should prepare as you would for those tests.
  • You must fast (no food or drink, except water) for eight hours before your cholesterol and glucose screenings.
  • Wear a short-sleeved shirt or a shirt with sleeves that are easy to roll up

Warning signs

Common symptoms of COPD include:

  • Constant coughing, sometimes called "smoker's cough"
  • Shortness of breath while doing activities you used to be able to do
  • Excess sputum production
  • Feeling like you can't breathe
  • Not being able to take a deep breath
  • Wheezing

Risk factors

  • People age 40 and over with a history of smoking (current or former smokers)
  • Long-term exposure to things that can irritate the lungs, like certain chemicals, dust, or fumes
  • Heavy or long-term exposure to secondhand smoke or other pollutants
  • A genetic condition known as AAT deficiency (alpha-1 antitrypsin)

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