Trial to give lung disease sufferers better quality of life

RESEARCHERS are calling on lung disease sufferers to join one of Australia's largest ever chronic obstructive pulmonary disease trials aimed at improving their quality of life.

The Glisten COPD Study involves more than 100 general practitioners and specialist investigators across 54 sites nationwide, including 17 in Queensland.

The trial will give COPD, a lung disease that causes severe shortness of breath and persistent coughing, patients a greater understanding of their condition, which many people do not realise they suffer from.

"Many people living with COPD are unaware they have the disease, and some think their symptoms are just a natural part of the ageing process," Brisbane-based doctor and study coordinator Dr Sarah van Staden said.

"However, COPD is a serious disease that will get progressively worse if left untreated."

"Over a 12 week period, study participants will be required to routinely visit their registered GP or specialist site, complete a phone-in patient diary twice-a-day and perform routine spirometry tests - a simple, quick and painless breathing test used to diagnose COPD."

The trial, which is run through GP clinics throughout the Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast areas, is designed to investigate a new medication for COPD.

Adriana, who requested her surname be withheld, thought she escaped lung disease when she gave up smoking years ago.

"I used to go on a morning walk. But nowadays, just carrying the groceries or making the bed leaves me breathless," the 66 year old Browns Plains woman said.

A 2008 study into the economic impact of COPD estimated 4.5 million Australians would be living with COPD by 2050 without intervention

Study volunteers need to be over 40, living with COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and current or ex-smokers.

To register interest call 1800 300 392.

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