Background: The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is unknown.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in a random sample of individuals 40-80 years old in Abu Dhabi, with a particular interest to explore local risk factors other than cigarette smoking. Airflow limitation compatible with COPD was defined as a post-bronchodilator ratio FEV(1)/FVC <0.70.
Results: From 520 participants surveyed (93.7% response rate), 55% male and with a mean age of 52 years, the prevalence of COPD was 3.7% and 95% C.I. (2.0-5.3). There were no differences by gender, and COPD prevalence only significantly increased in those 70 year and older. Among those with COPD, cigarette smoking use was relatively low (12% current- and 12% former-smokers), and it was even lower the use of shisha (5%), pipe (0%), or exposure to passive smoking (5%), while exposure to biomass was higher (33%). Interestingly, bakhour use was very high (78%), but neither bakhour nor any of the above-mentioned exposures were associated with the risk of COPD.
Conclusions: COPD prevalence in 40-80 years old in Abu Dhabi was 3.7%, and associations with cigarette smoking or with other local inhaled exposures were not observed.
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