COPD mortality tied to poverty, study says
LONDON – Mortality rates among COPD patients in low-income countries are linked more to poverty than the prevalence of smoking, according to a new international study published in Thorax. Researchers examined COPD mortality data from 170 countries, finding a strong inverse correlation between mortality and gross national income (GNI). Where the annual GNI was below $15,000, they found COPD mortality rose, but it had no clear link to smoking. Mortality was strongly correlated with spirometric restriction, but not airflow obstruction, which is associated with smoking, according to the study. Authors noted environmental factors also play a role in the mortality rate in low-income countries.