Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill has leant her support to a British Lung Foundation (BLF) campaign which aims to find people living with an undiagnosed lung condition.
Responding to the ‘listen to your lungs’ campaign, on Thursday Mrs Churchill visited the Bury St Edmunds Breathe Easy support group at Southgate Community Centre where she listened to members speak about their experience of lung disease and managing breathlessness.
Philip Gladwell, chair of Breathe Easy Bury, said: “It was a pleasure to have Jo visit us and talk to the group. Raising awareness of lung disease is hugely important in helping people get an earlier diagnosis and treatment. Many people think their breathlessness is down to getting older or unfit, without realising it could be a sign of lung disease.
“If you have a lung condition and live in Suffolk, we’re here to help. We meet up monthly and provide opportunities to learn more about lung health, what we can do to stay well and be socially active.”
Urging residents to take the BLF’s online breath test, Mrs Churchill said: “Completing the BLF’s online ‘breath test’ is a really easy way of checking your lung health. I’d encourage everyone to try it. It’ll either give you peace of mind or start you on a path to helping you manage your breathlessness.
“Sixty-five per cent of people underestimate the proportion of deaths in the UK caused by lung disease, it kills someone every five minutes. If you’re even slightly worried a loved one has been feeling increasingly short of breath, please make sure they take the test.”
Figures from Public Health England estimate there are around 4,000 people in West Suffolk and more than 122,000 people in the East of England living with undiagnosed heart or lung disease.