Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) not diagnosed in a population with cardiovascular risk factors

Med Clin (Barc). 2018 Nov 21;151(10):383-389. doi: 10.1016/j.medcli.2017.12.018. Epub 2018 Mar 7.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background and objective: The magnitude of undiagnosed COPD in our population with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) is unknown. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of undiagnosed COPD and its specific characteristics in a population with CVRF.

Materials and methods: Study the prevalence of COPD in patients with CVRF. Spirometry was performed between 01/01/2015 and 12/31/2016 and the percentage of patients with COPD, who had not previously been diagnosed, was determined. Each patient's variables of interest were recorded; the records of patients who had spirometry showing COPD were checked to confirm whether a diagnosis had been recorded or not. The association of undiagnosed COPD with different independent variables was determined with adjusted odds ratio (aOR) by non conditional logistic regression models.

Results: 2,295 patients with CVRF were studied. The overall prevalence of COPD was 14.5%. An underdiagnosis of 73.3% was observed. Newly diagnosed COPD vs. undiagnosed COPD showed to be higher in women (74.1% vs. 36.0%; P=.081), non-smokers (21.3% vs. 12.4%; P=.577), mild cases (GOLD1) (42.6% vs. 32.4%, P=.008) and cases with lower than average HbA1c (5.5% vs. 5.6%; P=.008) and uric acid (5.1mg/dL vs. 5.6mg/dL; P=.011). The variables associated with undiagnosed COPD were: women (aOR=1.27; 95%CI: 0.74-2.17; P=.383); age (aOR=0.94; 95%CI: 0.87-0.99; P=.018); smokers (smoker/non-smoker) (aOR=0.47; 95%CI: 0.22-1.01; P=.054) and HbA1c (%) (aOR=0.45; 95%CI: 0.23-0.88; P=.019).

Conclusions: The under-diagnosis of COPD is very high. The contact patients aged between 50 and 65 years-old who have CVRF with their health system should be reassessed, and they need to ask for a spirometry.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva crónica; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; Factores de riesgo; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Spirometry
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Uric Acid