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Multidiscip Respir Med. 2011 Apr 30;6(2):92-6. doi: 10.1186/2049-6958-6-2-92.

Prevalence of smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease amongst teachers working in Kocaeli, Turkey.

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  • 1Department of Pulmonary Disease, M, Kazım Dinç Kandıra Government Hospital, Kandıra, Kocaeli, Turkey. serapargun2002@yahoo.com.



To evaluate smoking and COPD prevalence amongst teachers working in the schools of Kocaeli City, Turkey.


In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire focusing on respiratory symptoms and smoking habits was administered to all participants who accepted to join the study.All subjects also underwent a physical examination and a pulmonary function test performed with portable spirometer. According to GOLD criteria, subjects who had post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC < 70% and negative reversibility test were classified as COPD.


A total of 685 teachers were included [female n = 307 (45%), male n = 378 (55%)] with mean age 38.9 ± 8.9 years. Smoking habit was evaluated in 660 subjects: 291 (44.1%) were smokers, 252 (38.2%) were non-smokers and 117 (17.7%) were ex-smokers. Pulmonary function test was available in 651 subjects and 510 (78.3%) were defined as normal on spirometric analysis. Small airway obstruction was found in 115 of the cases (17.7%) in whom FEF25-75 level was found to be lower than 70% predicted. FEV1/FVC level was lower than 70% in 16 subjects (2.5%). Five subjects who had positive reversibility test were excluded from the study. The remaining 11 subjects who were considered as COPD consisted of 2 (18%) females and 9 (82%) males. Six of these subjects were aged over 40 years.


Spirometry has an important role in early diagnosis of COPD. Spirometric evaluation of cases with risk factors for COPD could be helpful in diagnosing patients before the progressive decline in lung function begins. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether the interventional strategies at this stage such as smoking cessation could prevent the progression of disease.

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