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Health-related quality of life and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in North Carolina
North American Journal of Medical Sciences (2010)
  • David W. Brown
  • Roy Pleasants
  • Jill A. Ohar
  • Monica Kraft
  • James F. Donohue
  • David M. Mannino
  • Winston Liao
  • Harry Herric


Comparisons of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and adults in the general population are not well described.


To examine associations between COPD and four measures of HRQOL in a population-based sample.

Patients & Methods:

These relationships were examined using data from 13,887 adults aged >18 years who participated in the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) conducted in North Carolina (NC). Logistic regression was used to obtain adjusted relative odds (aOR).


The age-adjusted prevalence of COPD among NC adults was 5.4% (standard error 0.27). Nearly half of adults with COPD reported fair/poor health compared with 15% of those without the condition (age-aOR, 5.5; 95% confidence interval [ CI] , 4.4 to 6.8). On average, adults with COPD reported twice as many unhealthy days (physical/mental) as those without the condition. The age-adjusted prevalence of >14 unhealthy days during the prior 30 days was 45% for adults with COPD and 17% for those without. The aOR of >14 unhealthy days was 1.7 (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.2) times greater among adults with COPD compared with those without.


These results suggest COPD is independently associated with lower levels of HRQOL and reinforce the importance of preventing COPD and its complications through health education messages stressing efforts to reduce total personal exposure to tobacco smoke, occupational dusts and chemicals, and other indoor and outdoor air pollutants linked to COPD and early disease recognition. Our findings represent one of the few statewide efforts in the US and provide guidance for disease management and policy decision making.

  • Health-related quality of life,
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
  • North Carolina,
  • behavioral risk factor surveillance system,
  • age-adjusted prevalence,
  • adults,
  • pollutants,
  • tobacco,
  • occupational dusts,
  • chemicals,
  • policy decision making
Publication Date
February, 2010
Citation Information
David W. Brown, Roy Pleasants, Jill A. Ohar, Monica Kraft, et al.. "Health-related quality of life and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in North Carolina" North American Journal of Medical Sciences Vol. 2 Iss. 2 (2010)
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