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The disease burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Greece

Authors Kourlaba G, Hillas G, Vassilakopoulos T, Maniadakis N

Received 12 April 2016

Accepted for publication 22 June 2016

Published 9 September 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 2179—2189

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S110373

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Professor Hsiao-Chi Chuang

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Georgia Kourlaba,1 Georgios Hillas,2 Theodoros Vassilakopoulos,2 Nikos Maniadakis3

1Evroston LP, 2Department of Critical Care of Evangelismos Hospital, Medical School of National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, 3Department of Health Services Organization and Management, National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece

Background: The objective of the study was to estimate the self-reported prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Greece and to quantify its burden on patients’ daily activities, productivity, and psychological status.
Methods: A population-based, random digit-dialed telephone nationwide survey was conducted between July 10, 2015 and July 31, 2015 in order to recruit patients with COPD in Greece. Among the 11,471 persons contacted, 3,414 met the inclusion criterion of age ≥40 years and completed the screening questions regarding COPD. Of the 362 subjects who reported that they had been diagnosed with COPD, 351 completed the survey. Data on demographic and lifestyle characteristics, comorbidities, disease history, perceived disease severity, breathlessness severity, symptoms severity, limitations in daily activities, psychological distress, and productivity were collected. All data were collected through the telephone interview method using a structured questionnaire.
Results: The overall self-reported COPD prevalence was 10.6%. Among 351 participants, only 9% reported that they suffered from severe breathlessness. The mean COPD assessment test score was 19.0, with 84% of participants having a COPD assessment test score ≥10. As for the perceived severity of COPD, the majority of subjects considered that their respiratory condition was of moderate (34.2%) or mild severity (33.9%). Overall, the participants reported a significant impact of COPD on their daily life. For instance, 61.5% of them reported that their respiratory condition has affected their sports activities. Moreover, 73% of subjects considered that the health care system could do more for them than it actually does. Almost one-fourth of the participants reported that they had missed work during the past 12 months due to their respiratory symptoms, with the mean number of days lost being 10.
Conclusion: This survey provides insightful data regarding the impact of COPD on Greek patients’ everyday life, psychology, and productivity, revealing the increased individual morbidity and the significant burden of this condition on society.

Keywords: COPD, impact, prevalence, morbidity, Greece

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