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01 December 2010

The Netherlands is estimated to have 300,000 people with undiagnosed COPD. Astma Fondsthe Netherlands Asthma Foundation, has launched a COPD risk test in order to identify these sufferers. Based on a list of criteria set out by the University of Maastricht, people over 40 with symptoms of coughing, who have smoked or smoke and who are out of breath after climbing a staircase are asked to answer 8 internet-based questions. While the original target was 80,000 responses, 115,000 people had completed the questionnaire after 4 weeks of tests. A larger proportion than expected showed a high risk of having COPD. The results are currently being analysed. The test was promoted in conjunction with primary care doctors, and the project will run for 3 years.