Burden of obstructive lung disease study in Tehran: Prevalence and risk factors of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Hooman Sharifi, Mohammad Reza Masjedi, Habib Emami, Mostafa Ghanei, Alireza Eslaminejad, Golnar Radmand, Sonia Buist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was ranked the sixth-most common cause of death worldwide in 1990, but now it is the third-most common cause. The goal of the present study was to assess the prevalence and determine the causes and risk factors of COPD in Tehran. Materials and Methods: This study followed a stratified cluster sampling strategy with proportional allocation within strata. The target population was all non-institutionalized inhabitants, aged 18 to 40 in one group and over 40 in another who resided in Tehran in 2013. The core questionnaire was developed from pre-existing validated questionnaires that had already been used in multi-national studies. The single most important outcome measure obtained as part of this protocol was spirometry before and after the administration of 200 mg (two puffs) of salbutamol. Results: The most commonly reported respiratory symptoms were: sputum production in 291 patients (16.2%) [95% confidence interval (CI): 14.5-17.9%], chronic cough in 171 (9.5%) (95% CI: 8.2-10.9%), wheezing in 377 (21.0%) (95%CI: 19.1-22.9%) and dyspnea in 388 patients (21.6%) (95% CI: 19.7-23.5%). The overall COPD prevalence defined by the post-bronchodilator spirometric functional criteria was 9.2%. This value in men (10.1%) was higher than in women (8.5%); the prevalence was significantly higher in subjects aged over 55 years (P ≤ 0.002). The prevalence of COPD was strongly dependent on smoking status, especially in ex-smokers, and increased considerably with age. 69% of patients with COPD were non-smoker. Conclusion: The high prevalence of verified COPD, a great deal of which was undiagnosed before by a physician, highlights the necessity of raising awareness of this disease among health professionals, and use of spirometry in the primary care setting. A future cross-sectional and prospective cohort study should be performed to explore all risk factors and their impact on decline in lung function and worsening of respiratory symptoms especially in non-smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
JournalLung India
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Iran
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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