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Characteristics of undiagnosed COPD in a Senior Community Center


To determine the characteristics of undiagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a senior community center. We performed a cross-sectional, observational study with the following procedures: questionnaire to record demographic and health status data, anthropometry, questionnaire about COPD risk factors and symptoms, spirometry, and socioeconomic evaluation. Simple logistic regression and multiple analyses were carried out to assess associations. The studied variables were tested for associations with previous COPD diagnosis. 335 subjects aged 50 years or older were recruited and 318 completed the protocol. Seventy- one (22%) had presumptive COPD. Among them, 57 (80%) did not have a previous physician-made diagnosis of COPD. We found no associations between previous diagnosis and socioeconomic status, anthropometric data or risk factors. Regarding respiratory symptoms, there was association between previous COPD diagnosis and wheezing (p=0.011). FEV1 and FVC values were lower in the previous diagnosis group compared to the group without a previous diagnosis (p < 0.001, Student t-test). We found association of lower FEV1 (below 50% predicted value) with a previous diagnosis (p=0.028). Our results showed a high prevalence of undiagnosed obstructive ventilatory defects in a senior community center. Previous COPD diagnosis was associated with more severe disease and more frequent wheezing. This study highlights the potential of these centers to increase COPD diagnosis and to reduce its risks. (AU)

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