Dr Sonia Buist, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon, USA and colleagues did a study of 9,425 people aged 40 years and over from 12 different countries around the world (the BOLD study). They found that the prevalence of stage II or higher COPD, as confirmed by spirometry testing, was 10.1% overall, broken down into 11.8% for men and 8.5% for women. A recent careful meta-analysis of COPD prevalence studies reported the incidence of stage II COPD to be 4.3%. The authors say: “Our estimates of the overall prevalence and staging of COPD are consistently higher than these figures, which accord with claims that COPD has generally been underestimated in the past.”
The authors add that the growing COPD burden is partly due to the aging population (with risk nearly doubling for every 10 years over the age of 40), and partly due to continuing use of tobacco, which is the most important risk factor. The variation in COPD prevalence between men and women is due mostly to differences in smoking habits. There were wide variations of COPD in the 12 worldwide sites, with Cape Town, South Africa recording the highest prevalence of combined stage II and III (men 22.2%, women 16.7%), and Hannover, Germany recording the lowest prevalence (men 8.6%, women 3.7%). The authors suggest the high rates in South Africa could be due to very high reported levels of previous tuberculosis and additional occupational exposures.
The authors conclude: “Although smoking cessation is becoming an increasingly urgent objective for an aging worldwide population, a better understanding of other factors that contribute to COPD is crucial to assist local public-health officials in developing the best possible primary and secondary prevention policies for their regions.”
In an accompanying Comment, Dr Emiel Wouters, Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital Maastricht, Netherlands, says: “With quantitative data already available, it is already clear that COPD is a major disease worldwide. Recognition of this fact obligates us to make efforts towards increasing public awareness and efforts toward the adoption of an integrated approach aimed at reducing or stabilising the present and future burden of disease generated by COPD.”
In a related Review, Dr Buist and Dr David Mannino, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, Kentucky, USA look at risk factors, prevalence and future trends of COPD. They say: "Worldwide, tobacco smoke remains the most important cause of COPD." WHO estimates that in high-income countries, 73% of COPD mortality is related to smoking, with 40% related to smoking in nations of low and middle income. They add: "Furthermore, smoking during pregnancy can negatively affect fetal lung growth and result in development of lung disease."Ageing is also a risk factor for COPD, with lung function starting to decline from its peak in young adulthood to lower levels in later life. The authors
say: "In looking to the future, one cannot ignore the changing demographics of the world's population and the reality that COPD is a disease of ageing." Such is the effect of the world's aging population on COPD prevalence, that the authors say: "Furthermore, if every smoker in the world were to stop smoking today, the rates of COPD would probably continue to increase for the next 20 years." The effects of occupational dust, vapours and fumes, infections, and asthma are also studied in the Review.
The authors conclude: "The challenge we will all face in the next few years will be implementation of cost-effective prevention and management strategies to stem the tide of this disease and its cost."
Tony Kirby | alfa
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research