British Lung Foundation
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Hi,I'm 51years old and my spirometry test at the GPS says my lungs are of the age 87year old. I was diagnosed with emphysema at 44years old. I had to go to the health assessment DWP and after using my inhalers (fostair ,spiriva)and pumping myself with my reliever a few times I was ask to breathe into a peak flow meter. I breathe as hard as I could to the point of coking at the end and my chest rattling. The lady said it was 80,does anyone know what that means? Kind regards

3 Replies

Hi and welcome :) Personally I believe that giving the "age" of people's damaged lungs isn't particularly helpful, it can cause unnecessary alarm - Im 71 and mine is apparently something like 160 and Im still going strong!

I can't answer your question about what 80 means - I don't understand why they were measuring your lung function with a peak flow meter if you have emphysema. Copd (emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis) would normally be tested with a spirometer which measures lung volume rather than flow - a peak flow meter is usually used if you have asthma.

Also it's not worth killing yourself trying to get the best possible result at a DWP test - you need them to know how bad it can be, not the best it can be imo.

If by any chance they did use a spirometer to test you, then likely they gave you the FEV1 result (forced expiratory volume in one second). If so, 80 would be 80%, the percentage of what would be predicted for someone of your age, height and gender if their lungs were normal. 80% would then be borderline mild/moderate stage emphysema.


Thank you kindly for your reply. The dwp said they only use a peak flow meter and I only had to blow in it once,she told me 80 and said it's not good. I'm at log a head with them at the moment because of the way I was treated and that a peak flow meter is not for copd. I have regularly spirometry test at the GPS and my ct scan showed emphysema,I find it very hard to breathe and can't get the air into my lungs. I also use steroid tablets 5mg-8 a day. I know my lungs are not in a good way and I can only breathe with inhalers. I cough from time I get up till time for bed and though out the night. I do my excise's but no joy. Kind regards

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Ok, so far from mild/mod. Im so sorry and that's outrageous they only use a peak flow. Im sorry it's so hard for you. Sending very best wishes and hope for easier breathing.


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