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INTRODUCTION: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide, with COPD deaths in China accounting for one-third of all such deaths. However, there is limited available evidence on the management of COPD in China. METHODS: A random sample of 25 011 participants in the China Kadoorie Biobank, aged 38-87 years, from 10 regions in China was surveyed in 2013-2014. Data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires on the diagnosis ('doctor-diagnosed' or 'symptoms-based') and management of COPD (including use of medication and other healthcare resources), awareness of diagnosis and severity of symptoms in COPD cases. RESULTS: Overall, 6.3% of the study population were identified as COPD cases (doctor-diagnosed cases: 4.8% and symptom-based cases: 2.4%). The proportion having COPD was higher in men than in women (7.9% vs 5.3%) and varied by about threefold (3.7%-10.0%) across the 10 regions. Among those with COPD, 54% sought medical advice during the last 12 months, but <10% reported having received treatment for COPD. The rates of hospitalisation for COPD, use of oxygen therapy at home and influenza or pneumococcal vaccinations in the previous year were 15%, 3% and 4%, respectively. Of those with COPD, half had moderate or severe respiratory symptoms, and over 80% had limited understanding of their disease and need for treatment. CONCLUSION: Despite a high prevalence of COPD in China and its substantial impact on activities of daily living, knowledge about COPD and its management were limited.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open Respir Res

Publication Date





COPD, China, management, respiratory