Objectives: This study conducted in 2016 aimed to assess the prevalence and incidence of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR).
Material and methods: A meta-analysis to evaluate the published research relating to asthma and COPD was conducted using data from 23 EMR Office (EMRO) countries and searching using the web of science, PubMed, SciVerse Scopus, Google scholar, and MEDLINE databases. The keywords entered were all EMRO countries (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Islamic republic Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arab, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen republic, and Cyprus) and asthma OR chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) OR (chronic bronchitis). Our definition of asthma and COPD was according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Results: A total of 92 published articles were identified. The pooled prevalence of asthma and COPD was 9.38 (confidence interval [CI]: 9.20-9.55) and 5.39 (CI: 5.17-5.62), respectively. There were no articles about COPD and asthma in Bahrain and Djibouti; no articles about asthma in Jordan and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; and no articles about COPD in Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen republic. The highest prevalence of asthma was observed in Kuwait, and the highest prevalence of COPD was observed in Pakistan.
Conclusion: The EMRO countries have inadequate research and data in the areas of asthma and COPD. More efforts and relevant studies must be conducted to understand the countrywide prevalence and real burden of these diseases.
Keywords: Bronchial asthma; Eastern Mediterranean Region Office; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.