To assess the true prevalence of COPD in the community in South India and to estimate the burden of disease.
Three year retrospective analysis of all subjects who underwent Pulmonary Function Tests between January 1999 to December 2001. The cohort included individuals who underwent spirometry as part of routine health checkup and patients attending hospital for elective surgery or for non-respiratory medical problems and those patients referred from the chest clinic for Spirometry. History of more than 10 pack years of smoking was noted in all relevant cases.
Out of 13,860 patients who underwent pulmonary function testing during the 3 years period, there were 9702 males and 4164 females. 946 patients (6.8%) were diagnosed to have COPD according to GOLD guidelines of which 811 were males (86%) & 135 were females (14%). More than 10 pack years of smoking was seen in 830 patients (87.7%) & 116 patients were non-smokers (12.3%). Mean age was 44.65 + 4.15 years. Out of 946 patients, 284 had mild COPD (30%),286 had moderate disease (30%) and the remaining 387 patients (40%) had severe COPD. The overall prevalence of COPD in the present study was 6.85% with prevalence of disease in males being 7.4% and in females 4.64%.
There is a significant burden of COPD as a disease in the community with overall prevalence of 6.85% in South India.
The burden of COPD in south India is huge as shown by our study there is an urgent need to reconize this in field conditions so as to treat them appropriately.
Arul Vigg, None.