Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Prevalence, USA 2016
José A. Bartolomei-Díaz, PhD
Chronic lower respiratory disease (COPD) refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the US and affects more than 15 million Americans. While tobacco smoke is the primary cause, 1 in 4 people with COPD have never smoked. Air pollutants at home (secondhand smoke), at work (fumes), and genetics can also cause COPD. Symptoms include chronic or smoker’s cough, chronic phlegm production, shortness of breath, and wheezing. The most important aspect of treatment for COPD is avoiding tobacco smoke and other air pollutants. (https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/copd)
The objective of this post is to provide insight into the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the USA. This type of information can be useful for institutional strategies and activities such as: allocating human or economic resources, developing scientific hypotheses for continued research into the disease’s etiology or risk factors or the development of marketing strategies.
In an effort to survey many types of social, demographic, disease and behavioral outcomes in the United States and its associated territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs numerous population-based surveys. The information used to estimate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease prevalence in this article came from the latest available data from a population-based survey regularly administered by the CDC known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease prevalence is surveyed by the BRFSS using the following question: Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional ever told you that you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or chronic bronchitis?
The complete methodology used to conduct the analyses shown in this post can be found here.
The following statistical remarks highlight the most meaningful differences among a selected group of demographic variables based on a logistic regression model. We encourage you to refer to the graphs and tables here for a more in-depth look at the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease prevalence in the USA.
An estimated 16,209,387 (6.48%) adults in the USA had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2016. When evaluating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by age group, adults in the 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65+ group had a 1.47, 1.93, 2.94, 3.82, and 4.58 times more likely, respectively, to report chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than the 18-24 group. This differences were significant (p-value 0.05). Among adults, females had a 13% higher likelihood of reporting having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compared to males. This difference was significant (p-value 0.05). In term of education level, the group high school graduate, some collage, and college graduate had a 14%, 17%, and 55% lower likelihood, respectively of reporting having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than the reference group (those who completed only some high school). This difference was significant (p-value 0.05). Those with an annual income of $25k-$<<$50k, and 50+k had a 18%, 24%, and 42% lower likelihood, respectively of reporting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than those whose annual income was less than $14,999. This difference was significant (p-value 0.05). Those who were in the divorced, widowed, separated, never married, and unmarried couple group were 43%, 23%, 26%, 13%, and 37% more likely, respectively, to report having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compared to those who reported being married. Adults who were in the out of work 1 year, out of work 1 year, a homemaker, retired, and unable to work group were 2.3, 1.64, 1.19, 1.92, and 4.68 times more likely, respectively, to report having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compared to those who reported being employ for wages.
Data Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey
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