Poverty is strongly associated with mortality from COPD, but little is known of its relation to airflow obstruction. In a cross-sectional study of adults aged ?40 years from 12 sites (N=9255), participating in the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study, poverty was evaluated using a wealth score (0-10) based on household assets. Obstruction, measured as forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) (%) after administration of 200 ?g salbutamol, and prevalence of FEV1/FVC<lower limit of normal were tested for association with poverty for each site, and the results were combined by meta-analysis. Mean wealth scores ranged from 4 in Blantyre (Malawi) and Kashmir (India) to 10 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), and the prevalence of obstruction, from 16% in Kashmir to 3% in Riyadh and Penang (Malaysia). Following adjustments for age and sex, FEV1/FVC increased by 0.36% (absolute change) (95%CI: 0.22, 0.49; p<0.001) per unit increase in wealth score. Adjustments for other confounders reduced this effect to 0.23% (0.11, 0.34), but even this value remained highly significant (p<0.001). Results were consistent across sites (I2=1%; phet=0.44). Mean wealth scores explained 38% of the variation in mean FEV1/FVC between sites (r2=0.385, p=0.031). Airflow obstruction is consistently associated with poverty at individual and community levels across several countries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine