Ten-year (1989 to 1998) mortality data on COPD (ICD-9 codes 490–496) obtained from the Statistics Department of Lithuania were analyzed. Mean mortality rates due to COPD between 1989 and 1991 and between 1996 and 1998, starting with the age group of 35 to 39 years, are shown in Figure 1
. According to these data, there was a strong positive association in mortality from COPD with aging in men and women. Mean mortality rate in men between 1989 and 1991 in the age group of 35 to 39 years was 3.79/100,000; in the age group of 75 to 79 years, it was 590.62/100,000. In women, mean mortality rate was 2.36/100,000 and 160.02/100,000, respectively. Mean mortality rate in men between 1996 and 1998 in the age group of 35 to 39 years was only 1.61/100,000, and in the age group of 75 to 79 years was 566.71/100,000; in women, mean mortality rate was 0.89/100,000 and 146.54/100,000, respectively. Mortality of Lithuanian men associated with COPD in various age groups was twofold to threefold greater than that of women. Mean mortality rates from COPD between 1996 and 1998 were lower in many age groups, both in men and women, as compared with rates between 1989 and 1991. In absolute numbers, deaths that occurred among men due to COPD in all age groups were 2,946 during the period of 1989 to 1991 and 2,343 during the period of 1996 to 1998; in women, 1,473 and 1,235 deaths occurred, respectively. Trends in mortality due to COPD in middle-aged (35 to 64 years) and elderly (≥ 65 years) men and women during 10 years are shown in Figure 2
. According to logarithmic regression analysis, mortality from COPD was decreasing. The annual change in mortality associated with COPD in Lithuanian men aged 35 to 64 years was − 5.7% (p = 0.002), and in the elderly (≥ 65 years) was − 2.9% (p = 0.001); in women, the annual change was − 7.2% (p = 0.006) and − 2.5% (p = 0.03), respectively. Thus, mortality from COPD was decreasing faster in the middle-aged group than in the elderly group.