Racial differences in comorbidity profile among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Hyun Lee, Sun Hye Shin, Seonhye Gu, Di Zhao, Danbee Kang, Yeong Rae Joi, Gee Young Suh, Roberto Pastor-Barriuso, Eliseo Guallar, Juhee Cho, Hye Yun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often accompanied by multiple comorbidities, which are associated with an increased risk of exacerbation, a poor health-related quality of life, and high mortality. However, differences in comorbidity profile by race and ethnicity in COPD patients have not been fully elucidated. Methods: Participants aged 40 to 79 years with spirometry-defined COPD from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (2007-2012) and from the Korea NHANES (2007-2015) were analyzed to compare the prevalence of comorbidities by race and ethnicity group. Comorbidities were defined using questionnaire data, physical exams, and laboratory tests. Results: Non-Hispanic Whites had the highest prevalence of dyslipidemia (65.5%), myocardial infarction (6.2%), osteoarthritis (40.1%), and osteoporosis (13.6%), while non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest prevalence of asthma (24.0%), hypertension (70.2%), stroke (7.3%), diabetes mellitus (DM) (23.3%), anemia (16.4%), and rheumatoid arthritis (11.9%). Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension, stroke, DM, anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and smoking status, while Hispanics had a significantly higher prevalence of DM and anemia, and Koreans had significantly lower prevalences of all comorbidities except stroke, DM, and anemia. Conclusions: COPD-related comorbidities varied significantly by race and ethnicity, and different strategies may be required for the optimal management of COPD and its comorbidities in different race and ethnicity groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178
JournalBMC medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 4 2018


  • COPD
  • Comorbidity
  • Ethnicity
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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