The costs of treating COPD in the United States

Chest. 2001 Feb;119(2):344-52. doi: 10.1378/chest.119.2.344.


Study objectives: COPD affects millions of people in the United States. The purpose of this study was to describe the medical resource use and costs incurred by persons with COPD in the United States in 1987.

Design: Data for this study were derived from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey. A societal perspective was adopted for this analysis.

Patients or participants: All persons > or = 40 years old with resource use or expenditures for chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or nonspecific chronic airway obstruction were included in this study.

Results: Mean per-person direct medical expenditures among persons with COPD were $6,469 (1987 US dollars), about 25% of which was COPD related. Approximately 68% of direct medical expenditures in persons with COPD were for inpatient hospitalization.

Conclusions: COPD causes a large societal burden of illness that is expected to increase. This study provides a valuable foundation and historical measure against which to compare other estimates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures / classification
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / economics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States