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      Comorbidities associated with COPD in the Middle East and North Africa region: association with severity and exacerbations

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          To assess the frequency of comorbidities in subjects with COPD and their association with respiratory symptom severity and COPD exacerbations.

          Materials and methods

          This was an analysis of the BREATHE study, a cross-sectional survey of COPD conducted in the general population of eleven countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Pakistan. The study population consisted of a sample of subjects with COPD for whom the presence of comorbidities was documented. Three questionnaires were used. The screening questionnaire identified subjects who fulfilled an epidemiological case definition of COPD and documented any potential comorbidities; the detailed COPD questionnaire collected data on respiratory symptoms, COPD exacerbations, and comorbidities associated with COPD; the COPD Assessment Test collected data on the impact of respiratory symptoms on well-being and daily life.


          A total of 2,187 subjects were positively screened for COPD, of whom 1,392 completed the detailed COPD questionnaire. COPD subjects were more likely to report comorbidities (55.2%) than subjects without COPD (39.1%, P<0.0001), most frequently cardiovascular diseases. In subjects who screened positively for COPD, the presence of comorbidities was significantly ( P=0.03) associated with a COPD Assessment Test score ≥10 and with antecedents of COPD exacerbations in the previous 6 months ( P=0.03).


          Comorbidities are frequent in COPD and associated with more severe respiratory symptoms. This highlights the importance of identification and appropriate management of comorbidities in all subjects with a diagnosis of COPD.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030.

          The goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of diabetes and the number of people of all ages with diabetes for years 2000 and 2030. Data on diabetes prevalence by age and sex from a limited number of countries were extrapolated to all 191 World Health Organization member states and applied to United Nations' population estimates for 2000 and 2030. Urban and rural populations were considered separately for developing countries. The prevalence of diabetes for all age-groups worldwide was estimated to be 2.8% in 2000 and 4.4% in 2030. The total number of people with diabetes is projected to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. The prevalence of diabetes is higher in men than women, but there are more women with diabetes than men. The urban population in developing countries is projected to double between 2000 and 2030. The most important demographic change to diabetes prevalence across the world appears to be the increase in the proportion of people >65 years of age. These findings indicate that the "diabetes epidemic" will continue even if levels of obesity remain constant. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, it is likely that these figures provide an underestimate of future diabetes prevalence.
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            Prevalence and outcomes of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease in COPD.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with important chronic comorbid diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. The present study analysed data from 20,296 subjects aged > or =45 yrs at baseline in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). The sample was stratified based on baseline lung function data, according to modified Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria. Comorbid disease at baseline and death and hospitalisations over a 5-yr follow-up were then searched for. Lung function impairment was found to be associated with more comorbid disease. In logistic regression models adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, body mass index and education, subjects with GOLD stage 3 or 4 COPD had a higher prevalence of diabetes (odds ratio (OR) 1.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.9), hypertension (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.3-1.9) and cardiovascular disease (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.9-3.0). Comorbid disease was associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation and mortality that was worse in people with impaired lung function. Lung function impairment is associated with a higher risk of comorbid disease, which contributes to a higher risk of adverse outcomes of mortality and hospitalisations.
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              Mortality in COPD: Role of comorbidities.

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents an increasing burden throughout the world. COPD-related mortality is probably underestimated because of the difficulties associated with identifying the precise cause of death. Respiratory failure is considered the major cause of death in advanced COPD. Comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are also major causes and, in mild-to-moderate COPD, are the leading causes of mortality. The links between COPD and these conditions are not fully understood. However, a link through the inflammation pathway has been suggested, as persistent low-grade pulmonary and systemic inflammation, both known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, are present in COPD independent of cigarette smoking. Lung-specific measurements, such as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), predict mortality in COPD and in the general population. However, composite tools, such as health-status measurements (e.g. St George's Respiratory Questionnaire) and the BODE index, which incorporates Body mass index, lung function (airflow Obstruction), Dyspnoea and Exercise capacity, predict mortality better than FEV(1) alone. These multidimensional tools may be more valuable because, unlike predictive approaches based on single parameters, they can reflect the range of comorbidities and the complexity of underlying mechanisms associated with COPD. The current paper reviews the role of comorbidities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality, the putative underlying pathogenic link between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and comorbid conditions (i.e. inflammation), and the tools used to predict chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                05 February 2016
                : 11
                : 273-280
                [1 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Allergy, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
                [2 ]Respirology Division, Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
                [3 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
                [4 ]Foxymed, Paris, France
                [5 ]MS Health, Rabat, Morocco
                [6 ]GlaxoSmithKline, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ashraf Alzaabi, Respirology Division, Zayed Military Hospital, Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tel +971 50 647 4488, Email ashraf.alzaabi@
                © 2016 Mahboub et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                comorbidity, copd exacerbation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mena region


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