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Exertional breathlessness related to medical conditions in middle-aged people: the population-based SCAPIS study of more than 25,000 men and women
Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Respiratory Medicine, Allergology and Palliative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
COPD Center, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden; COPD Center, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden; Department of Cardiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2024 (English)In: Respiratory Research, ISSN 1465-9921, E-ISSN 1465-993X, Vol. 25, no 1, article id 127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Breathlessness is common in the population and can be related to a range of medical conditions. We aimed to evaluate the burden of breathlessness related to different medical conditions in a middle-aged population.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of the population-based Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study of adults aged 50–64 years. Breathlessness (modified Medical Research Council [mMRC] ≥ 2) was evaluated in relation to self-reported symptoms, stress, depression; physician-diagnosed conditions; measured body mass index (BMI), spirometry, venous haemoglobin concentration, coronary artery calcification and stenosis [computer tomography (CT) angiography], and pulmonary emphysema (high-resolution CT). For each condition, the prevalence and breathlessness population attributable fraction (PAF) were calculated, overall and by sex, smoking history, and presence/absence of self-reported cardiorespiratory disease.

Results: We included 25,948 people aged 57.5 ± [SD] 4.4; 51% women; 37% former and 12% current smokers; 43% overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9), 21% obese (BMI ≥ 30); 25% with respiratory disease, 14% depression, 9% cardiac disease, and 3% anemia. Breathlessness was present in 3.7%. Medical conditions most strongly related to the breathlessness prevalence were (PAF 95%CI): overweight and obesity (59.6–66.0%), stress (31.6–76.8%), respiratory disease (20.1–37.1%), depression (17.1–26.6%), cardiac disease (6.3–12.7%), anemia (0.8–3.3%), and peripheral arterial disease (0.3–0.8%). Stress was the main factor in women and current smokers.

Conclusion: Breathlessness mainly relates to overweight/obesity and stress and to a lesser extent to comorbidities like respiratory, depressive, and cardiac disorders among middle-aged people in a high-income setting—supporting the importance of lifestyle interventions to reduce the burden of breathlessness in the population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2024. Vol. 25, no 1, article id 127
Keywords [en]
Diseases, Dyspnea, Epidemiology, Obesity
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223242DOI: 10.1186/s12931-024-02766-6ISI: 001186201900001PubMedID: 38493081Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85187930690OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-223242DiVA, id: diva2:1852656
Funder
Swedish Heart Lung FoundationKnut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationSwedish Research Council, 2019–02081Swedish Research CouncilVinnovaUniversity of GothenburgKarolinska InstituteRegion StockholmLinköpings universitetLund UniversityUmeå UniversityUppsala UniversityAvailable from: 2024-04-18 Created: 2024-04-18 Last updated: 2024-04-18Bibliographically approved

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Blomberg, AndersFrykholm, ErikNyberg, AndreStenfors, Nikolai

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