Doctor with stethoscope and lungs on the hands in a hospital. High resolution.

1,000 people are needed for ground-breaking research into an incurable lung condition at Imperial College London. Supported by the British Lung Foundation, a research team led by Professor Wisia Wedzicha, will conduct a nationwide project looking into the very early stages of the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which affects three million people.

For the first time, through this research they will be able to identify people at risk of developing the condition which is a major cause of illness and death.

The research team will establish the “BLF Early COPD Cohort”, a group of young adult smokers between the ages of 30-45, to track changes in their lung function over time. This will identify and study the people whose lung function is beginning to decline and are at risk of developing COPD.

COPD is a life-long condition that makes breathing difficult because the airways have been narrowed. People living with COPD will feel out of breath doing everyday tasks such as hoovering or walking to the shops. Though 20% of people with COPD have never smoked and not all smokers develop COPD – it is mainly caused by smoking from early adulthood.

The study, led by Professor Wisia Wedzicha at Imperial College London expects to recruit approximately 1000 participants from eight centres across the UK. People locally looking to get involved with this significant study can do so by contacting Participants could benefit by having a CT scan of the chest free of charge, access to stop smoking support, a research team specialising in COPD, and follow-ups with the NHS is abnormalities are found. Volunteers can be male or female, must be aged 30-45 years old and current smokers, but have no current lung disease diagnosis.