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COPD. 2009 Oct;6(5):380-7.

Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the U.S. working population: an analysis of data from the 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey.

Author information

  • 1National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26505, USA. kmb2@cdc.gov


To estimate the prevalence and the population attributable fraction of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the U.S. adult workers, we analyzed data obtained from the National Health Interview Surveys for the period 1997-2004. The overall COPD prevalence was 4.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.9-4.1%). The prevalence was higher in females (5.4%, 95% CI 5.3-5.6%) than in males (2.8%, 95% CI 2.7-2.9%); in Whites (4.2%, 95% CI 4.1-4.3%) than in Blacks (3.4%, 95% CI 3.1-3.7%) and other races (2.4%, 95% CI 2.1-2.8%). Compared with insurance, real estate and other finance industry, the top three industries associated with significantly higher prevalence odds ratios (PORs) (adjusted for age, sex, race, and smoking) were other educational services (POR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.0-2.3); transportation equipment (POR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.8); and social services, religious and membership organizations (POR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.7). Compared with managers and administrators, except public administration occupation, the top three occupations with significantly higher PORs were health service (1.8, 95% CI 1.5-2.1), other protective service (POR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2), and material moving equipment operators (POR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.3). The overall population attributable fraction for association of COPD with employment was 12.2% for industry and 17.4% for occupation. Further studies are needed to determine specific risk factors associated with COPD in industries and occupations with elevated prevalence and POR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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