The prevalence and mortality risks of PRISm and COPD in the United States from NHANES 2007-2012

Respir Res. 2024 May 15;25(1):208. doi: 10.1186/s12931-024-02841-y.


Background: We estimated the prevalence and mortality risks of preserved ratio impaired spirometry (PRISm) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the US adult population.

Methods: We linked three waves of pre-bronchodilator spirometry data from the US National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (2007-2012) with the National Death Index. The analytic sample included adults ages 20 to 79 without missing data on age, sex, height, BMI, race/ethnicity, and smoking status. We defined COPD (GOLD 1, 2, and 3-4) and PRISm using FEV1/FVC cut points by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). We compared the prevalence of GOLD stages and PRISm by covariates across the three waves. We estimated adjusted all-cause and cause-specific mortality risks by COPD stage and PRISm using all three waves combined.

Results: Prevalence of COPD and PRISm from 2007-2012 ranged from 13.1%-14.3% and 9.6%-10.2%, respectively. We found significant differences in prevalence by sex, age, smoking status, and race/ethnicity. Males had higher rates of COPD regardless of stage, while females had higher rates of PRISm. COPD prevalence increased with age, but not PRISm, which was highest among middle-aged individuals. Compared to current and never smokers, former smokers showed lower rates of PRISm but higher rates of GOLD 1. COPD prevalence was highest among non-Hispanic White individuals, and PRISm was notably higher among non-Hispanic Black individuals (range 31.4%-37.4%). We found associations between PRISm and all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.3 95% CI: 1.9-2.9) and various cause-specific deaths (HR ranges: 2.0-5.3). We also found associations between GOLD 2 (HR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.7-2.6) or higher (HR: 4.2, 95% CI: 2.7-6.5) and all-cause mortality. Cause-specific mortality risk varied within COPD stages but typically increased with higher GOLD stage.

Conclusions: The prevalence of COPD and PRISm remained stable from 2007-2012. Greater attention should be paid to the potential impacts of PRISm due to its higher prevalence in minority groups and its associations with mortality across various causes including cancer.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Preserved ratio impaired spirometry.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Spirometry
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult