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Not 15 but 50 percent of smokers develop COPD?: Report from the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden Studies
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
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2003 (English)In: Respiratory Medicine, ISSN 0954-6111, E-ISSN 1532-3064, Vol. 97, no 2, 114-122 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) according to guidelines of today seems considerably higher than has been reported also in recent literature. AIM: To estimate the prevalence of COPD as defined by British Thoracic Society (BTS) criteria and the recent global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease (GOLD) criteria. Further aims were to assess the proportion of underdiagnosis and of symptoms in subjects with COPD, and to study risk factors for COPD. METHODS: In 1996, 5892 of the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (OLIN) Study's first cohort could be traced to a third follow-up survey, and 5189 completed responses (88%) were received corresponding to 79% of the original cohort from December 1985. Of the responders, a random sample of 1500 subjects were invited to a structured interview and a lung function test, and 1237 of the invited completed a lung function test with acceptable quality. RESULTS: In ages >45 years, the prevalence of COPD according to the BTS guidelines was 8%, while it was 14% according to the GOLD criteria. The absolutely dominating risk factors were increasing age and smoking, and approximately a half of elderly smokers fulfilled the criteria for COPD according to both the BTS and the GOLD criteria. Family history of obstructive airway disease was also a risk factor, while gender was not. Of those fulfilling the BTS criteria for COPD, 94% were symptomatics, 69% had chronic productive cough, but only 31% had prior to the study been diagnosed as having either chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD. The corresponding figures for COPD according GOLD were 88, 51, and 18%. CONCLUSIONS: In ages >45 years, the prevalence of COPD according to the BTS guidelines was 8%, and it was 14% according to the GOLD criteria. Fifty percent of elderly smokers had developed COPD. The large majority of subjects having COPD were symptomatic, while the proportion of those diagnosed as having COPD or similar diagnoses was small.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 97, no 2, 114-122 p.
Keyword [en]
COPD, prevalence, risk factors, smoking, epidemiology
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4190DOI: 10.1053/rmed.2003.1446PubMedID: 12587960OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-4190DiVA: diva2:143185
Available from: 2004-11-02 Created: 2004-11-02 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): prevalence, incidence, decline in lung function and risk factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): prevalence, incidence, decline in lung function and risk factors
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (OLIN) Studies started in 1985 as an epidemiological project with the aim to detect preventable risk factors for obstructive lung diseases and allergy. In recent years there has been a focus also on obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) besides asthma and allergy. The aim of this thesis was to estimate the prevalence and incidence of COPD, risk factors for COPD, and decline in lung function in relation to COPD.

The OLIN cohort I (cI) was recruited in 1985/86 and consisted of all 6610 subjects born 1919-20, 1934-35 and 1949-50 in eight geographical areas of Norrbotten. A postal questionnaire survey was performed in 1985/86, 1992 and in 1996. All subjects reporting respiratory symptoms at the questionnaire in 1985/86 were invited to examination in 1986, 1996 and 2002-03. A random sample of 1500 subjects from the participants at the 1996 postal questionnaire survey was invited to examination in 1996 and 2003. The participation rate has been high, ≥85%. The OLIN cohort III (cIII) was recruited in 1992, a postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 5681 subjects aged 20-69 years. In 1994/95 a random sample of 970 subjects were invited to examination of whom 666 participated.

The prevalence of COPD in the general population sample (cIII) in ages <45 was 4.1%, 11.6%, 9.1%, and 5.1% according to the criteria of BTS1 , ERS2 , GOLD3 , and ATS4 respectively. The corresponding figures in ages ≥45 were 9.7%, 15.4%, 17.1%, and 16.5% respectively. In the age-stratified general population sample (>45 y, cI), the prevalence was 8.1% and 14.3% according to the BTS and GOLD criteria. The prevalence was strongly associated with higher age and smoking but not gender. The prevalence among smokers 76-77 years old was 45% and 50% (BTS and GOLD criteria). A majority of subjects with COPD had respiratory symptoms (in prevalent BTS 94%), most commonly cough and sputum production. Nearly a half of the subjects with COPD had contacted health care due to respiratory complaints other than common colds, but only a minority reported a physician diagnosis relevant for COPD (16% of prevalent COPD according to BTS in cIII, 31% in cI). The 10-year cumulative incidence of COPD (1986-1996) was estimated at 8.2% (BTS) and 13.5% (GOLD) in the symptomatics of cI, associated with higher age and smoking but not gender. Persistent smoking, male gender and reported chronic productive cough were associated with a faster decline in FEV1. Among incident cases of COPD a large proportion (23% of incident BTS) had a rapid decline in FEV1, >90 ml/year, corresponding to a decrease of 28 percent-units of normal value during ten years.The 7-year cumulative incidence of COPD in the random sample of cI (1996-2003) was estimated at 4.9% and 11.0% (NICE guidelines5 and GOLD) and associated with smoking but not gender. The incidence according to GOLD, but not NICE, was associated with increasing age. In multi-variate analysis most respiratory symptoms were markers of increased risk for developing COPD.

In conclusion, the prevalence and the incidence of COPD were associated with age and smoking and affected by the use of different spirometric criteria. Respiratory symptoms marked an increased risk for developing COPD. A high proportion of subjects developing COPD had a rapid decline in lung function. Further, there was a substantial underdiagnosis of COPD.

1 British Thoracic Society: FEV1/VC<0.70 & FEV1<80%predicted (pred), 2 European Respiratory Society: FEV1/VC<88%pred in men, <89%pred in women, 3 Global initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease:FEV1/FVC<0.70, 4 American Thoracic Society: FEV1/FVC<0.75 + symptoms or physician diagnosis, 5 The British National Institute for Clinical Excellence: FEV1/FVC<0.70 & FEV1<80%pred.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, 2004. 80 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 927
Keyword
Medicine, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Prevalence, Incidence, Decline in Lung Function, Risk Factors, Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
Lung Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-347 (URN)91-7305-756-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-11-19, Aulan, Sunderby Sjukhus, 971 80 Luleå, Luleå, 09:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-11-02 Created: 2004-11-02 Last updated: 2010-08-05Bibliographically approved

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