Objectives: COPD is increasingly recognized as a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Prevalence estimates for COPD are generally unavailable or unreliable. Thus, a simple and valid model for estimating COPD prevalence would provide essential information for policymakers in addressing a major burden of worldwide illness. Methodology: We modelled the relationships among readily available demographic data (e.g. age, gender), smoking prevalence, and COPD prevalence based on a literature review. We also included risks of COPD from environmental pollution and associations with socioeconomic status. Results: The model specifies a minimum of eight input variables to predict COPD prevalence in a given population: population by age, gender, smoking prevalence, prevalence of COPD among smokers, proportion living in rural areas, country by level of development, and exposures to environmental pollution. Actual COPD prevalence data from large population-based studies in Spain, Norway, Poland and Nepal compared favourably with the model projections (P ≥ 0.10). Conclusion: The model is a simple tool for estimating the prevalence of COPD populations in a given region or country. Further studies are needed to prospectively validate the model and test the assumptions upon which it is based. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
- Chronic bronchitis
- Predictive model