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Gender-specific estimates of COPD prevalence: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Ntritsos G, Franek J, Belbasis L, Christou MA, Markozannes G, Altman P, Fogel R, Sayre T, Ntzani EE, Evangelou E

Received 14 July 2017

Accepted for publication 19 February 2018

Published 10 May 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1507—1514


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Georgios Ntritsos,1 Jacob Franek,2 Lazaros Belbasis,1 Maria A Christou,1 Georgios Markozannes,1 Pablo Altman,3 Robert Fogel,3 Tobias Sayre,2 Evangelia E Ntzani,1 Evangelos Evangelou1,4

1Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece; 2Doctor Evidence, Client Solutions, Santa Monica, CA, USA; 3Global Medical Affairs, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, USA; 4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London, London, UK

Rationale: COPD has been perceived as being a disease of older men. However, >7 million women are estimated to live with COPD in the USA alone. Despite a growing body of literature suggesting an increasing burden of COPD in women, the evidence is limited.
Objectives: To assess and synthesize the available evidence among population-based epidemiologic studies and calculate the global prevalence of COPD in men and women.
Materials and methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis reporting gender-specific prevalence of COPD was undertaken. Gender-specific prevalence estimates were abstracted from relevant studies. Associated patient characteristics as well as custom variables pertaining to the diagnostic method and other important epidemiologic covariates were also collected. A Bayesian random-effects meta-analysis was performed investigating gender-specific prevalence of COPD stratified by age, geography, calendar time, study setting, diagnostic method, and disease severity.
Measurements and main results: Among 194 eligible studies, summary prevalence was 9.23% (95% credible interval [CrI]: 8.16%–10.36%) in men and 6.16% (95% CrI: 5.41%–6.95%) in women. Gender prevalences varied widely by the World Health Organization Global Burden of Disease subregions, with the highest female prevalence found in North America (8.07% vs 7.30%) and in participants in urban settings (13.03% vs 8.34%). Meta-regression indicated that age ≥40 and bronchodilator testing contributed most significantly to heterogeneity of prevalence estimates across studies.
Conclusion: We conducted the largest ever systematic review and meta-analysis of global prevalence of COPD and the first large gender-specific review. These results will increase awareness of COPD as a critical woman’s health issue.

Keywords: COPD, prevalence, meta-analysis, gender, age, systematic review

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