THE search to find 1,000 people living in the town who do not realise they have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) came to the Warrington Guardian offices.

Staff took part in the test which deciphered their lung age and picks up on early signs of the serious lung disease which makes it difficult for patients to breathe.

Shortness of breath, a chronic cough, regularly coughing up phlegm or experiencing wheezing or chest tightness can all be symptoms of COPD which more people die from each year than bowel, breast or prostate cancer.

Penketh GP Dr Dan Bunstone, who was conducting the tests, said: “We can’t reverse the effects of COPD so it’s about catching it early so people can manage it.

“The most serious untreated cases can’t get dressed without being out of breath and end up on oxygen 24 hours a day.

“Anybody over 30 who has perhaps been a smoker and has a chronic cough or feeling breathless should get checked rather than just thinking it’s down to old age.”

Some of the team managed to match Warrington Wolves players who achieved a peak age of 20-years-old for their lungs.

While others were keen to get checked out due to their family history.

Advertising manager Emma Barnes, from Orford, took the breath test after her dad David Holt was diagnosed with the condition 12 months ago.

The 28-year-old said: “My dad had smoked since a young age and has been getting a lot of chest infections and his breathing can be quite erratic.

“Getting checked today is something I feel quite passionate about because I had never heard of COPD before my dad was diagnosed.”

Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which looks after the town’s healthcare, has launched the campaign and will have dates of future screenings on their website.

Helen Pressage, Warrington CCG senior commissioning manager, said: “It has been a successful day in terms of the number of people interested in finding out their lung age and more about COPD.

“People often feel this is an easier way to approach their GP and we want to see and deal with as many patients as possible before they are really sick.”