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Free Content Worldwide burden of COPD in high- and low-income countries. Part II. Burden of chronic obstructive lung disease in Latin America: the PLATINO study [State of the Art Series. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in high- and low-income countries. Edited by G. Marks and M. Chan-Yeung. Number 6 in the series]

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SETTING: Five Latin American cities: São Paulo, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico; Montevideo, Uruguay; Santiago, Chile; Caracas, Venezuela.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Latin America.

DESIGN: This is a multicentre study. Post-bronchodilator spirometry was used and the main outcome measure was FEV1/FVC < 0.7 (fixed ratio criterion). Global Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stages were also analysed.

RESULTS: The combined population aged ≥40 years in the five countries included in the study was approximately 85.3 million. Of these, it was estimated that 12.2 million have airflow obstruction, which corresponds to our prevalence estimate of 14.3%. The proportion of subjects in Stages II-IV of the GOLD classification was 5.6%. Risk factors presenting the highest aetiological fractions for COPD were age, current smoking, indoor exposure to coal and exposure to dust in the workplace. Smoking, the modifiable factor with the strongest aetiological fraction for COPD, affects 29.2% of adults aged ≥40 years in these cities, corresponding to approximately 25 million smokers in this age group.

CONCLUSION: Prevention of smoking and exposure to pollutants, such as coal and dust, are the interventions most likely to succeed against COPD in Latin America. The information obtained by a collaborative study has been vast and encouraging for other similar studies.
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Keywords: COPD; Latin America; respiratory function tests; smoking; spirometry

Document Type: Invited Paper

Affiliations: 1: Post-graduate Programme in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil 2: Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Tialpan, Mexico 3: Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 4: Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay 5: Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile 6: Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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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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