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Smoking duration, respiratory symptoms, and COPD in adults aged ≥45 years with a smoking history

Authors Liu Y, Pleasants R, Croft J, Wheaton A, Heidari K, Malarcher A, Ohar J, Kraft M, Mannino D, Strange C

Received 5 February 2015

Accepted for publication 20 April 2015

Published 21 July 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1409—1416


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Yong Liu,1 Roy A Pleasants,2 Janet B Croft,1 Anne G Wheaton,1 Khosrow Heidari,3 Ann M Malarcher,4 Jill A Ohar,5 Monica Kraft,6 David M Mannino,7 Charlie Strange8

1Division of Population Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, 3Chronic Disease Epidemiology Office, Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina, SC, 4Office of Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 5Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Immunologic Disease, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC, 6Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, 7Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Epidemiology Research Laboratory, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 8Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA

Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of smoking duration with respiratory symptoms and history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the South Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey in 2012.
Methods: Data from 4,135 adults aged ≥45 years with a smoking history were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression that accounted for sex, age, race/ethnicity, education, and current smoking status, as well as the complex sampling design.
Results: The distribution of smoking duration ranged from 19.2% (1–9 years) to 36.2% (≥30 years). Among 1,454 respondents who had smoked for ≥30 years, 58.3% were current smokers, 25.0% had frequent productive cough, 11.2% had frequent shortness of breath, 16.7% strongly agreed that shortness of breath affected physical activity, and 25.6% had been diagnosed with COPD. Prevalence of COPD and each respiratory symptom was lower among former smokers who quit ≥10 years earlier compared with current smokers. Smoking duration had a linear relationship with COPD (P<0.001) and all three respiratory symptoms (P<0.001) after adjusting for smoking status and other covariates. While COPD prevalence increased with prolonged smoking duration in both men and women, women had a higher age-adjusted prevalence of COPD in the 1–9 years, 20–29 years, and ≥30 years duration periods.
Conclusion: These state population data confirm that prolonged tobacco use is associated with respiratory symptoms and COPD after controlling for current smoking behavior.

Keywords: tobacco use, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory symptoms, population-based study

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