Impact of chronic airflow obstruction in a working population

Eur Respir J. 2008 Jun;31(6):1227-33. Roche N, Dalmay F, Perez T, Kuntz C, Vergnenègre A, Neukirch F, Giordanella JP, Huchon G. René Descartes University of Paris, Respiratory and Intensive Care Medicine, Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, France.

Data on the individual and collective impact of chronic airflow obstruction at a population level are scarce. In a nationwide survey, dyspnoea, quality of life and missed working days were compared between subjects with and without spirometrically diagnosed chronic airflow obstruction. Subjects aged > or =45 yrs were recruited in French health prevention centres (n = 5,008). Results of pre-bronchodilator spirometry and questionnaires (European Community Respiratory Health Survey-derived questionnaire and European quality of life five-dimension questionnaire) were collected. Adequate datasets were available for 4,764 subjects aged 60+/-10 yrs (only 2% were aged > or =80 yrs). The prevalence of airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity of <0.70) was 7.5%. The vast majority (93.9%) of cases had not been diagnosed previously. Health status was significantly influenced by dyspnoea. Both were associated with the number of missed working days. Despite mild-to-moderate severity, subjects with chronic airflow obstruction exhibited more dyspnoea, poorer quality of life and higher numbers of missed working days (mean 6.71 versus 1.45 days.patient(-1).yr(-1) in patients without airflow obstruction, for the population with no known heart or lung disease).

In conclusion, even mild-to-moderate airflow obstruction is associated with an impaired health status, which represents an additional argument in favour of early detection in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.




copyright |