Backgrounds: COPD is a common health problem with increasing prevalence all over the world. It is under-diagnosed with very few studies about its prevalence in developing countries. Hence it is important to know and evaluate the prevalence of this disease in our community.
Patients and methods: A prospective cross sectional study was performed in the southern area of Egypt where 2400 subjects above 40 years old agreed to participate and filled questionnaires that included demographic data and CAT questionnaire. Suspicious cases according to symptoms, smoking status and positive CAT score were performed spirometry and confirmed cases were defined as FEV1/FVC post bronchodilator <0.70.
Results: There was 25% of studied population resident in urban and 75% in rural areas with 1675 (70%) being males and 725 (30%) females. There was 37.5% in age group 50–59 and 26.4% above 60 years. In the confirmed COPD cases the main symptom was dyspnea 93.7%, followed by cough and expectoration 67.8%, and wheezy chest 52.5%. There was 32% of cases having CAT scores <10 and 68% was >10. Reflux was the main comorbidity with 75% followed by diabetes 31.2%, heart diseases 24.3%, and hypertension 15%. The presentations of suspicious COPD cases were 495 cases, 20.6%; by comparing the confirmed and not confirmed cases there were significant differences between both groups in cough, expectoration, dyspnea, wheeze, CAT score and comorbidity P value <0.0001 except hypertension and depression. 42.5% of COPD confirmed cases were categorized into stage B followed by stage D (25.6%) then stage C (20.6%) and stage A 11.3%. The prevalence rate of COPD was 6.6% with the highest prevalence in age above 60 years 9.2% with significant P value <0.0001 between different age groups. Prevalence in urban area was 7.6% and in rural area was 6.3% without significant difference. As regards smoking habits the high prevalence was in X smoker 16.3% followed by current smoker 8.6% with significant P value <0.0001. There is high prevalence rate in cases exposed to biomass fuel 13.6% versus 5.8% in not exposed cases with significant P value <0.0001.
Conclusion: Prevalence of COPD in our locality was 6.6 % with high rates among x and current smokers and in those exposed to biomass fuels.