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Prevalence and risk factors of airflow obstruction in a Caribbean population

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SETTING: The prevalence of airflow obstruction (AO) in the Caribbean population is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To measure the prevalence of and risk factors for AO (post-bronchodilator ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 sec to forced vital capacity of <0.7) in the Trinidad and Tobago general population using the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease methodology.

DESIGN: National cross-sectional, stratified, cluster sampling of adults aged ≥40 years.

RESULTS: AO prevalence was 9.5% among 1104 participants, most of whom were unaware of this. Compared to those aged 40–49 years, the adjusted odds ratio of AO by age group was 2.73 (60–69 years) and 3.30 (≥70 years). Risk factors for AO were unemployment (OR 4.31), being retired (OR 2.17), smoking ≥20 pack-years (OR 1.88) and exposure to dusty jobs for more than 1 year (OR 2.06). Related symptoms were history of wheezing, unscheduled visits to the doctor or admission to hospital for breathing problems and in subjects with at least one respiratory symptom (OR 1.90), at least one risk factor (OR 2.81), either symptoms or risk factors (OR 3.71) and both symptoms and risk factors (OR 5.78) (P < 0.05 in all cases).

CONCLUSION: AO prevalence in the general population of Trinidad and Tobago aged ≥40 years was 9.5%, almost all of which was undiagnosed. AO was associated with smoking, age >59 years, lack of employment and working in a dusty job.
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Keywords: BOLD; Trinidad and Tobago; burden of obstructive lung disease; forced expiratory volume in 1 sec; risk factors for AO

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: South-West Regional Health Authority, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago 2: Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago 3: National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2020

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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 lung health world-wide.

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