This blog is a Kitsap Sun reader blog. The Kitsap Sun neither edits nor previews reader blog posts. Their content is the sole creation and responsibility of the readers who produce them. Reader bloggers are asked to adhere to our reader blog agreement. If you have a concern or would like to start a reader blog of your own, please contact

NO, says the Kitsap County Health District

Cris Craig, Kitsap County Health District Public Information Officer called last week and passed on the bad news.

The bad news is that the Kitsap County Health District will not offer Spirometry testing to the public for early detection COPD. Ms. Craig spoke of the KCHD focus on their present full program based on mandates, smoking, obesity and other stuff as the reasoning behind the decision in light of our nations present poor economy. They will also be forced to make cuts in the present programs.

The good news is that COPD is moving up the list of leading causes of death and one day COPD, currently 4th Leading Cause of Death in the US will jump into the 3rd place spot. Perhaps then, the cost effective early detection inexpensive Spirometry testing will seem cost efficient to someone.

When I made my first call to the KCHD about 6 years ago, we were in a good economy. At that time the person I spoke with did not know what COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) was but she was sure the health district would not get involved.

I was sure they would if for no other reason than the high tax dollar cost of taking care of end stage COPDers. v the tiny cost of early detection Spirometry. Using sound money management principles, they would opt for the public Spirometry testing.


To those thinking that COPDers were/are smokers and deserve what they get…the following study results may be of interest.

A recent BOLD study of never-smokers and COPD confirmed previous studies that never smokers fill a big notch cut into the smoking gun of COPD.

“Chest. 2010 Sep 30;

Authors: Lamprecht B, McBurnie MA, Vollmer WM, Gudmundsson G, Welte T, Nizankowska-Mogilnicka E, Studnicka M, Bateman E, Anto JM, Burney P, Mannino DM, Buist SA,

BOLD Study concluded…

” never-smokers were less likely to have COPD, and had less severe COPD, than ever-smokers, never-smokers nonetheless comprised 23.3% (240/1031) of those classified as GOLD stage II+. …

Conclusion This multicenter international study confirms previous evidence that never smokers comprise a substantial proportion of individuals with COPD. Our data suggest that, in addition to increased age, a prior diagnosis of asthma and, among women, lower education levels are associated with an increased risk for COPD among never-smokers.

PMID: 20884729 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

AbstractBackground Never-smokers comprise a substantial proportion of subjects with COPD. Their characteristics and possible risk factors in this population are not yet well defined. Methods We analyzed data from 14 countries that participated in the international population-based BOLD study. Participants were aged ≥40 years and completed post-bronchodilator spirometry testing plus questionnaires about respiratory symptoms, health status, and exposure to COPD risk factors. A diagnosis of COPD was based on the ratio of post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) to forced vital capacity (FVC), according to current GOLD guidelines. In addition to this, the lower limit of normal (LLN) was evaluated as an alternative threshold for the FEV1/FVC ratio. Results Among 4291 never-smokers, 6.6% met criteria for mild (GOLD stage I) COPD, and 5.6% met criteria for moderate-to-severe (GOLD stage II+) COPD….”

More later… Sharon O’Hara

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?