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Obstructive Lung Diseases |

Neglecting Respiratory Symptoms - A Frequent Practice for Romanian Smokers?

Magdalena Ciobanu, MD; Paraschiva Postolache, PhD; Cristina Boboc, BS; Dragos Bumbacea, PhD; Miron Bogdan, PhD
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National Institute of Pneumology "Marius Nasta", Bucharest, Romania


Chest. 2013;144(4_MeetingAbstracts):704A. doi:10.1378/chest.1704953
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Abstract

SESSION TITLE: COPD Diagnosis & Evaluation Posters

SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Poster

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: Evaluation of the perceived respiratory health of Romanian smokers in the context of a diagnosed chronic respiratory disease.

METHODS: A secondary analysis was performed on the study about the prevalence of COPD in Romania conducted in 2011 on a national-representative sample for adults above 40 years old by Medical Foundation Pneuma. Correlations between 3 respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, wheezing) and different socio-economical criteria were studied, in the context of an existing diagnosis of a chronic respiratory disease (chronic bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, asthma).

RESULTS: From a total of 9639 investigated adults, 34.6% were ever-smokers (3335 persons), predominantly men (sex ratio:1.77), and 15.2% accused at least one respiratory symptom in the last year. Even almost one-quarter (23%) of smokers accused cough and/ or effort dyspnea in the last year, only less then 15% were diagnosed with a chronic respiratory disease. Men and people with a low socio-economic profile accused more frequent respiratory symptoms and were diagnosed with a respiratory disease, but there is no significant difference between rural and urban areas.

CONCLUSIONS: The perception of respiratory symptoms is quite frequent in Romanian adult smokers (over 40 years old), but the diagnosis of a chronic respiratory disease is less frequent. Thus, it looks that Romanian smokers neglect their respiratory symptoms, especially those with a medium to high socio-economic profile, as the healthcare coverage looks to play a less important role. This situation could be also explained by the special characteristics of the national healthcare system.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The clinical implications are especially on the educational side. The smokers have to be better informed about the significance of the presence of a respiratory symptom, and encouraged to address to a MD. The practitioners (especially the GPs, as they are in the frontline of reference to a specialist) should receive a better continuous medical education and also communication skills (for enhancing the confidence of the patients) in order to increase the diagnosis rate of chronic respiratory diseases.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Magdalena Ciobanu, Paraschiva Postolache, Cristina Boboc, Dragos Bumbacea, Miron Bogdan

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