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CDC and NIH survey provides first report of state-level COPD prevalence
Date:11/21/2012

d by state health departments in collaboration with the CDC. The addition of state-level COPD surveillance data in the 2011 study was co-supported by the NHLBI and the CDC. Nearly 500,000 people responded to the survey; 39,000 reported having COPD. The COPD data from the BRFSS survey will appear in the Nov. 23 edition of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

COPD, which includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is characterized by shortness of breath, chronic coughing or wheezing, or excess sputum (airway mucus) production. COPD develops slowly and worsens over time, causing many people to ignore the symptoms early on and delay seeking diagnosis and treatment until the disease is in its late stages.

The BRFSS survey found that nationwide, 6 percent of non-institutionalized adults, or approximately 15 million people, reported having COPD, with the highest prevalence clustered around the Ohio and lower Mississippi rivers. However, since the study did not survey older adults in institutions like nursing homes, the actual number is likely higher.

Other nationwide results for COPD included:

  • Women were more likely to report COPD than men (6.7 percent vs. 5.2 percent)
  • Prevalence was lower among homemakers, students, and the employed than among those who were unable to work, unemployed, or retired
  • Prevalence decreased as income increased (from 9.9 percent among those making less than $25,000 a year to 2.8 percent among those making more than $75,000)
  • 36.4 percent of those reporting COPD were former smokers
  • 38.7 percent of those reporting COPD continued to smoke
  • 43.7 percent of those reporting COPD had a history of asthma

The BRFSS is conducted using random telephone calls (landline and cellular). The survey assesses risk behaviors and other factors that contribute to the leading causes of death in the United States.


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Contact: NHLBI Communications
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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