Yeon-Mok Oh 1 , Arvind B Bhome 2 , Watchara Boonsawat 3 , Kirthi Dias Gunasekera 4 , Dushantha Madegedara 5 , Luisito Idolor 6 , Camilo Roa 6 , Woo Jin Kim 7 , Han-Pin Kuo 8 , Chun-Hua Wang 8 , Le Thi Tuyet Lan 9 , Li-Cher Loh 10 , Choo-Khoon Ong 10 , Alan Ng 11 , Masaharu Nishimura 12 , Hironi Makita 12 , Edwin K Silverman 13 , Jae Seung Lee 1 , Ting Yang 14 , Yingxiang Lin 14 , Chen Wang 14 , Sang-Do Lee 1
14 January 2013
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. We evaluated the characteristics of stable COPD patients in the pulmonology clinics of seven Asian cities and also evaluated whether the exposure to biomass fuels and dusty jobs were related to respiratory symptoms, airflow limitation, and quality of life in the COPD patients.
This cross-sectional observational study recruited 922 COPD patients from seven cities of Asia. The patients underwent spirometry and were administered questionnaires about their exposure to cigarette smoking, biomass fuels, and dusty jobs in addition to respiratory symptoms and health related quality of life.
Of the patients, there appeared to be variations from city to city in the history of exposure to biomass fuels and dusty jobs and also in respiratory symptoms of cough, phlegm, wheeze, and dyspnea. These symptoms were more frequent in those COPD patients with a history of exposure to biomass fuels than without and those with a history of exposure to dusty jobs than without ( P < 0.01 for all comparisons). Airflow limitation was more severe in those COPD patients with a history of exposure to biomass fuels than without (52.2% predicted versus 55.9% of post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV 1], P = 0.009); quality of life was poorer in those with exposure to biomass fuels than without (40.4 versus 36.2 of the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire [SGRQ] total score, P = 0.001). Airflow limitation was more severe in those COPD patients with a history of exposure to dusty jobs than without (51.2% predicted versus 57.3% of post-bronchodilator FEV 1, P < 0.001); quality of life was poorer in those with dusty jobs than without (41.0 versus 34.6 of SGRQ score, P = 0.006).