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Saudi Med J. 2014 Jul;35(7):684-90.

Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Saudi Arabia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah 21589, PO Box 80215, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel. +966 (12) 6408258. Fax. +966 (12) 6408315. E-mail:



To assess the prevalence of epidemiologically defined chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Saudi Arabia.


This cross-sectional, observational, population-based survey of COPD was conducted between June 2010 and December 2011 across the country of Saudi Arabia. A total of 56,000 randomly selected telephone numbers were called, which identified 10,001 eligible subjects; of whom 9,779 agreed to participate. A screening questionnaire included 6 questions related to cigarette consumption and water-pipe use was administered to each participant. Subjects with positive screening results were invited to provide input for a detailed COPD questionnaire.


The adjusted proportion of subjects who reported a current, or past smoking history was 27.9%. Gender specific smoking rates adjusted by age were 38.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37.5-39.9%) in men, and 7.4% (95% CI: 6.5-8.3%) in women. The epidemiological definition of symptomatic COPD was met by a total of 249 subjects. The age and gender-adjusted prevalence of COPD was 2.4% (95% CI: 2.1-2.7%). Overall, COPD was more frequently documented (p<0.0001) in men (3.5% [95% CI: 3-4%]) than in women (1% [95% CI: 0.7-1.3%]).


The prevalence of epidemiologically defined COPD in the general population of Saudi Arabia is 2.4%, which is lower than that reported in industrialized countries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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