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Chest. 2015 Oct;148(4):962-970. doi: 10.1378/chest.14-2311.

Trends in mortality from COPD among adults in the United States.

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Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Electronic address:



COPD imposes a large public health burden internationally and in the United States. The objective of this study was to examine trends in mortality from COPD among US adults from 1968 to 2011.


Data from the National Vital Statistics System from 1968 to 2011 for adults aged ≥ 25 years were accessed, and trends in mortality rates were examined with Joinpoint analysis.


Among all adults, age-adjusted mortality rate rose from 29.4 per 100,000 population in 1968 to 67.0 per 100,000 population in 1999 and then declined to 63.7 per 100,000 population in 2011 (annual percentage change [APC] 2000-2011, -0.2%; 95% CI, -0.6 to 0.2). The age-adjusted mortality rate among men peaked in 1999 and then declined (APC 1999-2011, -1.1%; 95% CI, -1.4 to -0.7), whereas the age-adjusted mortality rate among women increased from 2000 to 2011, peaking in 2008 (APC 2000-2011, 0.4%; 95% CI, 0.0-0.9). Despite a narrowing of the sex gap, mortality rates in men continued to exceed those in women. Evidence of a decline in the APC was noted for black men (1999-2011, -1.5%; 95% CI, -2.1 to -1.0) and white men (1999-2011, -0.9%; 95% CI, -1.3 to -0.6), adults aged 55 to 64 years (1989-2011, -1.0%; 95% CI, -1.2 to -0.8), and adults aged 65 to 74 years (1999-2011, -1.2%; 95% CI, -1.6 to -0.9).


In the United States, the mortality rate from COPD has declined since 1999 in men and some age groups but appears to be still rising in women, albeit at a reduced pace.

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