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British Lung Foundation
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Does anyone know what 63% fev1 means?

I have had a chest X-ray showing emphysemic changes and just had a spirometer test. Results show fev1 at 63%. I am a 50 year old female at 5.5ft. I smoked since 14 but have given up multiple times including now.

The doctor said I am on the border between mild and moderate but he didn't se too sure after seeing the chest X-ray. After reading the gold and bode assessment tools I am confused too.

Can anyone help please?

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23 Replies

Basically I think it means you are 63% of what is expected from someone your age, height, etc. 80% and above is considered normal. I expect someone will be able to clarify that.

Thank you for your reply. I am getting confused as some sites on the net say its mild copd and some say severe.

I think you are borderline mild/moderate but I'm sure others will advise. Mine is 55% which makes me moderate.

Lynne xx

Thank you Lynne, do you mind if I ask what condition you have and how long you have had it.

I have emphysema, diagnosed one year ago. I don't mind you asking at all.

I stopped smoking in January 2011 and after I stopped, I started with breathing problems and was then diagnosed.

Lynne xx

It's strange how your breathing problems started after you gave up smoking isnt it. What was your fev1 % when you was first diagnosed?

I have just been prescribed called spiriva and for the first 2 days felt like it was helping but on my fourth day now and not so sure ... My appetite has once again disappeared and I can't afford to lose more weight... I am as thin as a stick as it is..

I've only ad it done once as It was less than a year ago. I'm not the only one on here who didn't have problems until I stopped smoking. My GP says its common, the damage is being done, but smoking opens the airways so you don't notice it until you stop.

Lynne xx

I'm the same as Lynne. Gave up smoking then 3 months later couldn't walk 50 yards without gasping for breath. Diagnosed with very severe emphysema. I may be 62 but before that I was doing amateur surfing with my daughters, believe it or not ! I don't understand how I could breath reasonably ok and then get VERY SEVERE emphysema. It don't make sense.

I hope I get referred to a consultant, at what point do they normally refer you?

The doctor who originally gave the diagnosis wasn't very good in my opinion. I was finding it hard to breath for about 2 months and phoned the BLF helpline.They said it sounded like I had an infection. I told this to the doctor and all he done was subscribe my for an inhaler I all ready had. He didn't even get his stethoscope out to check my breathing ! After having to go to A&E as I could hardly breathe. I decided to change my doctor. He arranged for a proper checkup at the hospital within 2 days of our first meeting. If your doctor doesn't mention consultants then I would suggest asking him/her for one. Doctors don't know everything even though they try and may not be clued up on COPD.

I am on Spiriva and find it really helps, but the first 2 weeks I had awful headaches, then they went.

I need to lose weight! I put 2 stone on when I stopped smoking! Xx

I have lost 9kg since sept last year and was only slim to start with, it is difficult for both of us isn't it lol

I quit smoking in Nov 2011 after being diagnosed with emphysema. My spirometry results at that time were FEV1 42%. In January this year I went for my annual review with my COPD nurse and my FEV1 was 33%. I was shocked and asked the question am I going down hill fast. She assured that it was normal to see there types of trends and not to worry varioius equipment and physical conditions can show a variety of results. What she did at that review was change it to quartely instead of annually. And tbh I do not feel any worse than what I did 12 months ago.

It is so hard to understand how everyone with the illness is different, all I know is that it's took me a year to get the spirometry test and X-ray so far, the doctors think its all in your head. I am surprised they were only seeing you on a yearly basis in the first place tbh.

It was in early Nov 2011 that I went to my doctors complaining about breathing difficulties and severe weight loss and to be fair by Dec 2nd I had been fast tracked ( X ray CT Scan and Spirometyr Test) to be diagnosed on that date. In January 2012 I made a routine appointment with my GP to discuss the future and it was he who applied the 12 month review. Now when I went this year the COPD nurse had only just been employed by the practice and she was an absolute god send. Full of information up to date equipment and had 25 yrs respiratory knowledge to bring with her. I felt at ease and she was the one who refered a quarterly review. By the way I live in Wigan and maybe things are different here, I dont know, but I think all COPD patients should be given the level of care that I feel I have got.

I agree that the health service should apply the same rules across the board as regards treatment. I live in the West Midlands and although I feel my gp is good I would still like to be seeing a specialist, after all you only get one life don't you!

I am glad you have the copd nurse as it can be a very worrying time.

I did see my consultant in May last year and it was very brief. He seemed only too happy that I was gaining weight. However should I deteriate he would see me at short notice.

Was your appetite good and eating well when you lost weight? How much did you lose and over what period of time? I lost 9kg in 5 months but I lost all my appetite and just can't eat, he has given me fortisips which are at best keeping some nutrition going for me.

I'm going for spirometry testing later on today. I was experiencing breathlessness which has got worse since I quit smoking. I'm not expecting my spirometry to go well today. I gave up smoking two weeks ago and I know pretty much everyone says that it's the right thing to do. I'm not sure though, I've very much got the feeling that the damage is already done and deterioration continues once you quit anyway, just at a slightly slower rate maybe. How can the medics say for sure that it will help? I know it should but what studies have been done to prove that this is the case?

Just wondered how your spirometry went?

Did you get a copy of your spirometry results? If so you can post them here copdcanada.ca. I hope it is okay to post the link? If not please delete it. There is a RRT at that site and if you look on the left side there will be a link to ask a question and if you post your spriometry results he will answer all of your questions and intrepret your results so you have a better understanding of where you are at.

I believe if your FEV1 is below 30% of predicted it is very severe, between 30%-50% is severe, between 50%-80% is moderate and above 80% is mild but the margin of error can also see you at 80% and not even have COPD, at least that is my understanding. I believe the FEV!/FVC ratio has to be below 70% as well.

I also believe they are considering changing how they classify the severity of your condition by factoring in other things besides just FEV1% of predicted like the 6 minute walk test, BMI and other factors but have no idea exactly how the new classifications will work.

From the reading I have done quitting smoking and exercise are the two most important factors in slowing the progression of the disease, and of course eating healty can't hurt either.

I realized after I posted this that the original post was a year old.

I am Fev1 62% and thought I was moderate but the consultant said I’m mild!

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