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Clinical Investigations: COPD |

Characteristics of Adults Dying With COPD*

Pamela A. Meyer, PhD; David M. Mannino, MD, FCCP; Stephen C. Redd, MD; David R. Olson, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch (Drs. Meyer, Mannino, and Redd) and the Biometry Branch (Dr. Olson), Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, Atlanta, GA.

Correspondence to: David M. Mannino, MD, FCCP, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS E-17, Atlanta, GA 30333; e-mail: dmannino@cdc.gov



Chest. 2002;122(6):2003-2008. doi:10.1378/chest.122.6.2003
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Study objective: To describe factors associated with COPD deaths in the United States.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Participants:A total of 12,803 decedents in the National Mortality Followback Survey, a nationally representative sample of US deaths in 1993.

Methods: We compared the characteristics of adults ≥ 35 years of age who died with COPD (bronchitis, emphysema, chronic airway obstruction) with those dying without COPD listed on their death certificates.

Results: Of the estimated 225,400 adults who died with COPD in 1993, 16.7% had never smoked. People dying with COPD were more likely than those dying without COPD to be current smokers (odds ratio [OR], 6.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.3 to 9.9) or former smokers (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.5 to 5.3), have a history of asthma (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 3.2 to 7.8), be underweight (OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 2.8 to 7.2), and be of the white race (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 2.4 to 4.0), after controlling for age group and sex.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of COPD-related deaths occurs in never-smokers. Factors such as a history of asthma and being underweight are associated with COPD mortality and may provide additional opportunities for intervention.


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