July 27, 2021
Lung screening trial expanded for Maori
The Health Research Council is putting up $1.2 million from its Rangahau Hauora Maōri investment stream so a study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among Māori can piggy back on the country’s first-ever national lung cancer screening trial.
University of Otago professor and study lead Dr Sue Crengle says COPD is a smoking-related condition that is more common among Māori – occurring at a younger age than it does in other ethnic groups.
Māori also have much higher rates of hospitalisation for COPD-related illness.
The study could potentially lead to earlier diagnosis of the disease and better outcomes for patients through medications, pulmonary rehabilitation programmes and support for smoking cessation.
Up to 500 people at high-risk of lung cancer are taking part in the screening trial, which uses low-dose CT scans to detect any abnormalities.
Those who consent will be assessed for COPD by a lung capacity test.
Waitematā DHB and Auckland DHB director of health outcomes Dr Karen Bartholomew says study findings will be shared with participating GPs and clinics, with potential to reshape the way COPD is managed.
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