Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Cyprus: A Population-Based Study
AuthorZachariades, A. G.; Zachariadou, T.; Adamide, T.; Anagnostopoulou, U.; Georgiou, A.; Gourgoulianis, K. I.
Background: The prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Cyprus is largely unknown. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of COPD in Cyprus through a spirometry population-based program and to identify certain disease characteristics in the Cypriot population. Methods: The study was performed in 1,233 randomly selected individuals covering representative urban and rural areas. Inclusion criteria were: age >= 35 years old and lifetime smoking history of at least 100 cigarettes. Participants answered a detailed questionnaire and underwent spirometry before and after the inhalation of 200 mu g of salbutamol. COPD diagnosis and severity were based on criteria developed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases. Results: The overall prevalence of spirometry diagnosed COPD subjects was 4.9% (5.1% in men vs 3.5% in women). Mild COPD was found in 33.3% of COPD individuals, moderate in 45%, severe and very severe COPD was found in 20% and 1.7%, respectively. Physician diagnosis was reported in 48.3% of spirometry diagnosed COPD subjects, whereas 55.9% were asymptomatic. Age (p = 0.000), increased tobacco consumption (p = 0.001) and cough with phlegm (p = 0.048) were found to have a synergistic effect on the diagnosis of COPD. Conclusions: Results suggest that COPD is an important health problem in Cyprus. Programs that raise public awareness focusing on prevention, early detection and treatment are needed. Under-diagnosis of COPD raises the need for spirometry screening programs in high risk individuals and guideline implementation for the management of the disease.