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Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2011 Mar-Apr;139(3-4):149-54.

Asthma and chronic bronchitis symptoms among adult population of Belgrade.

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Hospital for Pulmology, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.



Over the last three decades the prevalence of respiratory diseases has been increasing worldwide thus increasing economic burden on the healthcare system. Recent studies have shown that the prevalence of asthma in West European countries ranges from 6-9%, while of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) is 8.0% worldwide.


The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and smoking habits, and to assess the prevalence of asthma and chronic bronchitis among adults in Belgrade, Serbia.


To collect data we used a questionnaire based on the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) protocol, which was mailed to 10,208 randomly selected subjects.


There were 58.3% of responders to our questionnaire. We noted a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms in subjects who responded promptly. The majority of the respondents were current or former smokers (37.5% and 17.5% respectively) and 79.9% of them reported respiratory symptoms. The most frequent symptoms were longstanding cough (32.2%), sputum production (30.4%) and wheezing (30.3%). Asthma attacks were reported in 4.4% of cases and 5.6% of subjects were using asthma medications. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms increased with age. Women reported coughing, attacks of breathlessness and coughing, chest tightness by night, allergic rhinitis and chronic coughing, more frequently than men. Productive cough was more frequent in men. The prevalence of almost all symptoms was higher in smokers compared to nonsmokers.


In Serbia there is a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms, asthma and chronic bronchitis smoking addiction.

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