Background: There is a great heterogeneity in the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) demonstrates a great heterogeneity across the world. The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) initiative was started to measure the prevalence of COPD in a standardized way. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of COPD in Portuguese adults aged 40 years or older of a target population of 2,700 000 in the Lisbon region, in accordance with BOLD protocol. Methods: A stratified, multi-stage random sampling procedure was used which included 12 districts. The survey included a questionnaire with information on risk factors for COPD and reported respiratory disease and a post-bronchodilator spirometry performed at survey centres. Results: For the 710 participants with questionnaires and acceptable spirometry, the overall weighted prevalence of GOLD stage I+ COPD was 14.2% (95% C.I. 11.1, 18.1), and stage II+ was 7.3% (95% C.I. 4.7, 11.3). Unweighted prevalence was 20.2% (95% C.I.17.4, 23.3) for stage I+ and 9.5% (95% C.I. 7.6, 11.9) for stage II+. Prevalence of COPD in GOLD stage II+ increased with age and was higher in men. The prevalence of GOLD stage I+ COPD was 9.2% (95% C.I. 5.9, 14.0) in never smokers versus 27.4% (95% C.I. 18.5, 38.5) in those who had smoked >20 pack-years. The agreement between previous doctor diagnosis and spirometric diagnosis was low, with 86.8% of underdiagnosed individuals. Conclusions: The 14.2% of COPD estimated prevalence indicates that COPD is a common disease in the Lisbon region. In addition, a large proportion of underdiagnosed disease was detected. The high prevalence of COPD with a high level of underdiagnosis, points to the need of raising awareness of COPD among health professionals, and requires more use of spirometry in the primary care setting.
- Airway obstruction
- Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease prevalence