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Presse Med. 2008 Mar;37(3 Pt 1):377-84. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2007.10.012. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

[Epidemiology of COPD in France].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Service de pneumologie, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, F-92104 Boulogne-Billancourt, France. violaine.giraud@apr.aphp.fr



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a frequent and disabling disease but epidemiologic data remain fragmentary.


The objective of this work was to bring together and describe the French epidemiologic data about COPD.


This review of the literature was performed by querying the NLM PubMed database in French and in English with the key words "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease", "epidemiology", "mortality", and "France". The studies including French data were selected.


Four prevalence studies and one mortality study were identified. Prevalence was estimated between 1.0 and 11.1% in the general population. The mean mortality rate between 2000 and 2002 was 84.3/100,000 in men and 19.1/100,000 in women. Smoking is the best documented risk factor and a dose-response relationship has been established. The attributable risk fraction for occupational exposure is assessed at 15 to 20%.


Prevalence studies are rare and do not always include objective measures of respiratory function. There are no specific French data in populations of smokers. COPD is a major public health issue. The main risk factor is smoking but the risk fraction attributable to occupational exposure is substantial. Epidemiologic knowledge of COPD should advance as the results of studies and screening program for at-risk subjects currently underway as part of the national COPD plan become available.

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