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Telling smokers their “lung age” promoted successful smoking cessation

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G Parkes

Dr G Parkes, The Limes Surgery, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, UK; [email protected]

QUESTION

Does describing to patients how smoking has accelerated their age-related decline in lung function (“lung age”) increase smoking cessation rates?

METHODS

Design:

randomised controlled trial.

Allocation:

concealed.

Blinding:

blinded (outcome assessors).

Follow-up period:

12 months.

Setting:

5 general practices in Hertfordshire, UK.

Patients:

561 current smokers ⩾35 years of age (mean age 53 y, 54% women, mean 17 cigarettes/d, mean 33 pack-y of smoking). Patients receiving oxygen or with a history of lung cancer, tuberculosis, asbestosis, silicosis, bronchiectasis, or pneumonectomy were excluded.

Intervention:

all patients had spirometry at baseline to measure forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1). Patients in the intervention group (n = 280) were immediately given their results verbally and graphically as “lung age” (the age …

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