Poverty, rural living linked to increased COPD mortality in the US

October 22, 2012

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underscores the widespread disparities associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mortality by state, poverty level, and urban vs rural location. The study, presented at CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that COPD mortality is highest in rural and poor areas.

"Many factors contribute to the differences in COPD mortality, including smoking prevalence, air quality, and access to health care," said study co-author James B. Holt, PhD, MPA, of the CDC in Atlanta. "People with COPD who live in rural or poor areas have an even greater disadvantage. COPD patients, especially those in rural and , may benefit from additional case management and risk reduction."

To determine the geographic disparities related to COPD mortality, Dr. Holt and his research team from the CDC examined the influence of county-level rural-urban status and poverty on COPD mortality. The team obtained the 2000-2007 US mortality, population, and 2006 urban-rural categorization data from the National Center for Health Statistics and county-level poverty data from the US Census. Age-specific death rates (per 100,000) were calculated.

Preliminary results from the study indicate there were 962,109 total deaths with COPD as the underlying cause in 2000-2007 in the United States. Of the total COPD deaths, 87.6% was seen in ages ≥65; 11.9% in ages 45-64; and 0.5% in ages <45 years. Age-specific death rates were 21 and 291 for ages 45-64 and ≥65 years, respectively. State-level COPD death rates ranged from 131(HI) to 415 (WY) for ages ≥65 and from 9 (HI) to 38 (OK) for ages 45-64.

Preliminary results also indicated differences in COPD mortality by geographic location and , with the lowest COPD mortality found in large central and the highest found in non-core rural counties. Increased poverty also was associated with increased for the age group of 45-64 years old, but this was not observed in the age group 65 years and older.

According to the CDC, chronic lower respiratory disease (primarily COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and cigarette smoking remains the dominant risk factor for COPD and COPD mortality. Despite the COPD ranking, there has been no temporal trend in COPD mortality. "COPD mortality has remained relatively stable from 2000-2007," added Dr. Holt.

"The ACCP has long recognized COPD as a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in the US," said ACCP President-Elect Darcy D. Marciniuk, MD, FCCP. "Through education, research, and communication, the ACCP is dedicated to increasing the awareness, prevention, and management of this debilitating condition."

Explore further: Children exposed to cigarette smoke have increased risk of COPD in adulthood

Related Stories

Children exposed to cigarette smoke have increased risk of COPD in adulthood

March 15, 2012
A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that children who are exposed to passive smoke have almost double the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood compared with non-exposed ...

COPD readmission may be tied to unmodifiable risk factors

October 22, 2012
National efforts are underway to reduce 30-day readmission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); however, new research suggests that COPD readmissions may be related to risk factors that cannot be modified, including ...

Smoking history can predict survival time in COPD

September 4, 2012
Vienna, Austria: Identifying an individual's the smoking history could help doctors to predict survival time in people with COPD.

Study confirms link between rheumatoid arthritis and COPD

May 26, 2011
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are two times more likely to have concurrent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than healthy controls -- an association which was sustained even when variables such as age, gender, ...

Recommended for you

Groundbreaking investigative effort identifies gonorrhea vaccine candidates

September 19, 2017
Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a pair of proteins that show promise as the basis for a gonorrhea vaccine.

Snail fever progression linked to nitric oxide production

September 14, 2017
Bilharzia, caused by a parasitic worm found in freshwater called Schistosoma, infects around 200 million people globally and its advance can lead to death, especially in children in developing countries.

Systems analysis points to links between Toxoplasma infection and common brain diseases

September 13, 2017
More than 2 billion people - nearly one out of every three humans on earth, including about 60 million people in the United States - have a lifelong infection with the brain-dwelling parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

Study clears important hurdle toward developing an HIV vaccine

September 13, 2017
An international team of researchers has demonstrated a way of overcoming one of the major stumbling blocks that has prevented the development of a vaccine against HIV: the ability to generate immune cells that stay in circulation ...

As 'flesh-eating' Leishmania come closer, a vaccine against them does, too

September 13, 2017
Parasites that ulcerate the skin, can disfigure the face, and may fatally mutilate its victim's internal organs are creeping closer to the southern edges of the United States.

Promising clinical trial results could give doctors a new tool against drug-resistant strains of malaria parasite

September 13, 2017
Tulane University researchers have developed a new drug that is effective against non-severe cases of malaria, according to results from an FDA-supervised clinical trial published in the latest issue of The Lancet Infectious ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.