High prevalence of bronchiectasis in adults: analysis of CT findings in a health screening program

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2010 Dec;222(4):237-42. doi: 10.1620/tjem.222.237.


Bronchiectasis is one of the common chronic respiratory diseases and associated with respiratory morbidity and mortality. However, neither its prevalence nor its etiology is well-defined. We aimed to estimate the prevalence and risk factors of bronchiectasis in adults. In a retrospective study, we analyzed radiologic findings on chest computed tomography (CT) images performed as part of a health-screening program. From January to December 2008, 1,409 (24.6%) of 5,727 participants in the screening program of a health promotion center at a university hospital underwent chest CT scans based on the subject's decision. Bronchiectasis was diagnosed, if there was abnormal bronchial dilatation in any area of both lungs on chest CT. Respiratory symptoms, smoking status, and past medical history were also analyzed to define clinical characteristics and risk factors of bronchiectasis. Of 1,409 patients (aged 23-86 years), who were screened for respiratory diseases using chest CT for one year in a health promotion center, 129 patients (9.1%) were diagnosed with bronchiectasis. The prevalence of bronchiectasis was higher in females than in males (11.5% vs. 7.9%, p = 0.022) and increased with age. Respiratory symptoms were reported in 53.7% of subjects. Previous history of tuberculosis (TB) (OR 4.61, 95% CI 2.39-8.88, p = 0.001) and age (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.56-3.98, p = 0.001) were significantly associated with bronchiectasis. This retrospective analysis of chest CT findings in health screening examinees revealed a very high prevalence of bronchiectasis in adults. Previous TB infection is one of the major causes of bronchiectasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchiectasis / epidemiology*
  • Bronchiectasis / pathology
  • Bronchiectasis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Spirometry
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Young Adult