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Incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a cohort of young adults according to the presence of chronic cough and phlegm
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2007 (English)In: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, ISSN 1073-449X, E-ISSN 1535-4970, Vol. 175, no 1, 32-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rationale: The few prospective studies aimed at assessing the incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in relation to the presence of chronic cough/phlegm have produced contrasting results. Objectives: To assess the incidence of COPD in a cohort of young adults and to test whether chronic cough/phlegm and dyspnea are independent predictors of COPD. Methods: An international cohort of 5,002 subjects without asthma (ages 20-44 yr) with normal lung function (FEV1/FVC ratio ≥ 70%) from 12 countries was followed from 1991-2002 in the frame of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II. Incident cases of COPD were those who had an FEV 1/FVC ratio less than 70% at the end of the follow-up, but did not report having had a doctor diagnose asthma during the follow-up. Main Results: The incidence rate of COPD was 2.8 cases/1,000/yr (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-3.3). Chronic cough/phlegm was an independent and statistically significant predictor of COPD (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.85; 95% CI, 1.17-2.93) after adjusting for smoking habits and other potential confounders, whereas dyspnea was not associated with the disease (IRR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.64-1.50). Subjects who reported chronic cough/phlegm both at baseline and at the follow-up had a nearly threefold-increased risk of developing COPD with respect to asymptomatic subjects (IRR = 2.88; 95% CI, 1.44-5.79). Conclusions: The incidence of COPD is substantial even in young adults. The presence of chronic cough/phlegm identifies a subgroup of subjects with a high risk of developing COPD, independently of smoking habits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 175, no 1, 32-39 p.
Keyword [en]
Chronic cough and phlegm, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Epidemiology, Incidence
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11734DOI: 10.1164/rccm.200603-381OCISI: 000243289800009PubMedID: 17008642OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-11734DiVA: diva2:39503
Available from: 2008-01-21 Created: 2008-01-21 Last updated: 2011-02-18Bibliographically approved

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Janson, Christer
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