Socioeconomic status and prognosis of COPD in Denmark

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We investigated the association between length of school education and 5-year prognosis of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), including exacerbations, hospital admissions and survival. We used sample of general population from two independent population studies: The Copenhagen City Heart Study and Copenhagen General Population Study. A total of 6,590 individuals from general population of Copenhagen with COPD defined by the Global initiative for obstructive lung disease criteria were subdivided into 4 groups based on the length of school education: 1,590 with education < 8 years; 3,131 with education 8-10 years, 1,244 with more than 10 years, but no college/university education and 625 with college/university education. Compared with long education, short education was associated with current smoking (p < 0.001), higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms (p < 0.001) and lower forced expiratory volume in the first second in percent of predicted value (FEV1%pred) (p < 0.001). Adjusting for sex, age, FEV1%pred, dyspnea, frequency of previous exacerbations and smoking we observed that shortest school education (in comparison with university education), was associated with a higher risk of COPD exacerbations (hazards ratio 1.65, 95% CI 1.15-2.37) and higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazards ratio 1.96, 95% CI 1.28-2.99). We conclude that even in an economically well-developed country with a health care system (which is largely free of charge), low socioeconomic status, assessed as the length of school education, is associated with a poorer clinical prognosis of COPD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalC O P D
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)431-437
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

    Research areas

  • Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Denmark, Disease Progression, Dyspnea, Educational Status, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Hospitalization, Humans, Income, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Severity of Illness Index, Smoking, Social Class, Urban Population

ID: 135785552