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Free Content Determinants of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Chinese patients in Hong Kong

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BACKGROUND: The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is rising in many parts of the world. This is a study of risk factors for COPD in Chinese patients in Hong Kong.

DESIGN: Case-control study matched by sex and age (±5 years).

METHODS: A total of 289 consecutive patients with COPD were recruited from out-patient clinics while healthy controls were recruited from two sources: random population and community centres for senior citizens. All patients and controls underwent a questionnaire-based interview and spirometry.

RESULTS: The mean ages of COPD patients and controls were 71.1 ± 9.4 and 67.5 ± 9.3 years, respectively. The male to female ratio of COPD patients was 5 to 1. Smoking was found to be the most important determinant for COPD, followed by poor education and low body mass index adjusted for confounders. A dose-dependent relationship was found between the risk of COPD and pack-years smoked. Place of birth, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and a history of asthma and tuberculosis were not associated with increased risk of COPD.

CONCLUSION: Despite a progressive reduction in prevalence, smoking remains the most important predictor of COPD in Hong Kong. Greater anti-smoking efforts are warranted.

Keywords: COPD; Chinese; Hong Kong; risk factors

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Respiratory Division, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China 2: Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, Tai Po, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 3: Ruttonjee Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 4: Kwong Wah Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 5: Tuen Mun Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 6: Caritas Medical Centre, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China 7: Haven of Hope Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong SAR, China

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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