Spirometry practice by French general practitioners between 2010 and 2018 in adults aged 40 to 75 years.

30 Sep 2023


In France, most spirometries are performed by pneumologists. Spirometry is difficult to access due to the distance to medical office and long delays for appointments. This lack of accessibility contributes to the underdiagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among patients aged between 40 and 75 years. In recent years, general practitioners (GPs) have been performing spirometry in private practice. However, the extent of this practice is unknown. A French retrospective, repetitive transversal study analysed data from the "Système National des Données de Santé" (SNDS) database. The targeted population was GPs in primary care that performed spirometries between 2010 and 2018, in patients aged between 40 and 75 years. Between 2010 and 2018, 302,674 (7.2%) spirometries were performed in France by GPs in private practices, in patients 40 to 75 years old. 5.4% by "expert GPs" (>60 spirometries/year) and 1.8% by "non-expert GPs". In "non-expert GPs" (2.8% of French GPs in 2018), the annual number of spirometries increased by 701 each year (p < 2.10), the annual number of GPs performing spirometries increased by 114 each year (p < 2.10). Overall, 24.9% of the spirometries performed by GPs were referrals from other GPs. The number of spirometries performed by GPs and the number of GPs performing spirometries has gradually increased over time. However, this increase is inadequate considering the need to early detect and follow up respiratory disorders.

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Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
Respiratory topics
  • Diagnosis
  • Spirometry
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Chapron A, Lemée T, Pau G, Jouneau S, Kerbrat S, Balusson F, Oger E