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Are you at increased risk for lung disease? Get a free screening to find out.

The respiratory care departments at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and St. Philip's College will host free pulmonary screenings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at McCreless Mall as part of the Texas Society of Respiratory Care's Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month.

Pulmonary screenings help identify people who have a reduction in lung volume, which could signal the beginning of lung disease. Screenings are a good idea for people with a history of smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke or a chronic cough.

COPD causes gradual loss in lung function. Nearly 16 million people in America live with the disease. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the nation, claiming more than 100,000 lives a year. Worldwide, about 600 million people are affected by COPD. By 2020, the World Health Organization predicts COPD will be the third leading cause of death in the world.

Because COPD affects so many, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) program declared Nov. 20 as World COPD Day to create awareness of the disease, encourage screenings, and educate the public on elements that increase the risk for COPD.

For more information about the screenings, contact David Vines at (210) 567-8856.

Contact: Aileen Salinas