Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Bronchitis Among Predominantly Smoking Workers in the Seafood Industry in Greenland

Anja Lærke Frederiksen, Birgitte Hamann Laustsen, Jesper Bælum, Michael Lynge Pedersen, Jakob Hjort Bønløkke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: For decades, the prevalence of smoking has been high in Greenland. Even so, the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a smoking-related disease, remains largely unexplored. This cross-sectional study aimed to estimate the prevalence of COPD and chronic bronchitis (CB) among Inuit workers in the seafood industry in Greenland.

Methods: A total of 355 participants, 254 males and 101 females, met the inclusion criteria. Participants had a mean age of 38 years (standard deviation 13.5; range 17-68 years). COPD was diagnosed based on post-bronchodilator ratio between forced expiratory volume within one second and forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) below the lower limit of normal (LLN) according to the Global Lung Function Initiative. Participants completed a questionnaire aiming to diagnose CB.

Results: The overall prevalence was 9.9% for COPD; 7.4% for CB. Participants were predominantly smokers; 73.2% active smokers, 91.8% active or former smokers. The prevalence of COPD was high, especially among those under 40 years of age. Both COPD and CB were associated with smoking status.

Discussion: This study among Greenlandic seafood workers found that smoking was a risk factor for COPD and CB among Greenlanders of Inuit origin. The high prevalence of COPD and the high prevalence of smoking underlines the importance of further initiatives to reduce smoking in Greenland.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Volume17
Pages (from-to)1167-1177
ISSN1178-2005
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20. May 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchitis, Chronic/diagnosis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Greenland/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis
  • Seafood/adverse effects
  • Smoking/adverse effects
  • Spirometry
  • Young Adult

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