COPD and its association with smoking in the Mainland China: a cross-sectional analysis of 0.5 million men and women from ten diverse areas.
Kurmi OP., Li L., Wang J., Millwood IY., Chen J., Collins R., Guo Y., Bian Z., Li J., Chen B., Xie K., Jia W., Gao Y., Peto R., Chen Z.
PURPOSE: In adult Chinese men, smoking prevalence is high, but little is known about its association with chronic respiratory disease, which is still poorly diagnosed and managed. METHODS: A nationwide study recruited 0.5 million men and women aged 30-79 years during 2004-2008 from ten geographically diverse areas across the Mainland China. Information was collected from each participant regarding smoking and self-reported physician diagnosis of chronic bronchitis/emphysema (CB/E), along with measurement of lung function indices. Logistic regression was used to yield sex-specific odds ratios (ORs) relating smoking to airflow obstruction (AFO), defined as forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) <0.7 and CB/E, adjusting for age, areas, education, and income. RESULTS: Overall 74% of men were ever regular smokers; among them, 7.2% had AFO compared with 5.4% in never-smokers, yielding an OR of 1.42 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.34-1.50). The risk was strongly associated with amount smoked and starting to smoke at a younger age. Among ex-smokers, the OR was more extreme for those who had quit due to illness (OR: 1.86, 95% CI: 1.77-1.96) than those who had quit by choice (OR:1.08, 95% CI: 1.01-1.16). CB/E prevalence was also significantly elevated in ex-smokers who had quit because of ill health (OR:2.79, 95% CI: 2.64-2.95), but not in regular smokers (OR:1.04, 95% CI: 0.96-1.11). Female smokers was rare (3%), but carried an excess risk for AFO (OR:1.53, 95% CI: 1.43-1.65) and, to a lesser extent, for CB/E (OR:1.28, 95% CI: 1.15-1.42). CONCLUSION: In Mainland China, adult smokers, particularly ex-smokers who had quit because of illness, had significantly higher prevalence of chronic respiratory disease. AFO appeared to be more strongly associated with smoking than self-reported chronic respiratory disease.