Until now, state-level information regarding the prevalence of COPD (how many people in the general population have COPD) and related healthcare resource-use has been limited. In a press release dated 11/21/12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) changed all this as they announced the results of the first ever state-level analysis of COPD.
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS survey) was conducted using random telephone calls to people living in each of the 50 states, the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico. Of the 498,225 respondents, 39,038 reported having COPD. The survey sought to determine how many adults in each state have COPD, how the disease impacts their quality of life, and how available healthcare resources are utilized.
Survey findings revealed that the prevalence of COPD varies greatly throughout the USA, ranging from less than 4% in Washington and Minnesota to more than 9% in Alabama and Kentucky. Additional information gathered from the survey includes the following:
- Among respondents who had COPD, 71.4% were diagnosed by spirometry.
- 62.5 % reported that COPD symptoms decreased their quality of life.
- 50.9 % reported taking at least one daily medication to manage their symptoms.
- Medication usage increased with age.
- More women than men reported having COPD, 6.7 % versus. 5.2 %, respectively.
- The prevalence of COPD was greater in respondents who weren't able to work, the unemployed and those who were retired as opposed to students, homemakers and people who had jobs.
- As income increased, prevalence decreased (from 9.9 % among those making less than $25,000 a year to 2.8 % among those making more than $75,000).
- Of the respondents who reported having COPD, 36.4 % were former smokers and 38.7 % continued to smoke.
- 43.7 % of respondents with COPD had a history of asthma.
Continuing to gather information about COPD at the state level will identify communities that are likely to benefit the most from COPD awareness and public outreach programs as well as provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of public health efforts in preventing, treating and controlling the disease.
Access to the full report is available on the CDC website.