Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Frequency of COPD in health care workers who smoke

Frequência de DPOC em profissionais de saúde que fumam

Ivan Kopitovic1,2, Aleksandar Bokan1,2, Ilija Andrijevic1,2, Miroslav Ilic1,2, Sanja Marinkovic3, Dragana Milicic1,2, Marija Vukoja1,2

J Bras Pneumol.2017;43(5):351-356

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: COPD is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Health care providers should counsel their smoking patients with COPD to quit smoking as the first treatment step. However, in countries with high prevalences of smoking, health care workers may also be smokers. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and severity of COPD in health care workers who smoke. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. All health care workers who smoke, from nine health care centers in Serbia, were invited to participate in the study and perform spirometry. The diagnosis of COPD was based on a post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio of < 0.70. All patients completed the COPD Assessment Test and the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence. Results: The study involved 305 subjects, and 47 (15.4%) were male. The mean age of the participants was 49.0 ± 6.5 years. Spirometry revealed obstructive ventilatory defect in 33 subjects (10.8%); restrictive ventilatory defect, in 5 (1.6%); and small airway disease, in 96 (31.5%). A diagnosis of COPD was made in 29 patients (9.5%), 25 (86.2%) of whom were newly diagnosed. On the basis of the Global Initiative for COPD guidelines, most COPD patients belonged to groups A or B (n = 14; 48.2%, for both); 1 belonged to group D (3.6%); and none, to group C. Very high nicotine dependence was more common in those with COPD than in those without it (20.7% vs. 5.4%, p = 0.01). Conclusions: In this sample of health care workers, the frequency of COPD was comparable with that in the general population. The presence of COPD in health care workers who smoke was associated with higher nicotine dependence.


Keywords: Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/prevention & control; Smoking; Health personnel.




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