Trends in mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in the United States
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Trends in mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in the United States

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      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) imposes a large public health burden internationally and in the United States. The objective of this study was to examine trends in mortality from COPD among US adults from 1968 to 2011.


      Data from the National Vital Statistics System from 1968 to 2011 for adults aged ≥25 years were accessed, and trends in mortality rates were examined with Joinpoint analysis.


      Among all adults, age-adjusted mortality rose from 29.4 per 100,000 population in 1968 to 67.0 per 100,000 population in 1999 and then declined to 63.7 per 100,000 population in 2011 (annual percentage change [APC] 2000–2011: −0.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.6, 0.2). The age-adjusted mortality among men peaked in 1999 and then declined (APC 1999–2011: −1.1%, 95% CI: −1.4, −0.7), whereas the age-adjusted mortality rate among women peaked in 2008 and subsequently increased slowly (APC 2000–2011: 0.4%, 95% CI: 0.0, 0.9). Despite a narrowing of the gender gap, mortality rates in men continued to exceed those in women. Evidence of a decline in the APC was noted for African American (1999–2011: −1.5%, 95% CI: −2.1, −1.0) and white men (1999–2011: −0.9%, 95% CI: −1.3, −0.6), adults aged 55–64 years (1989–2011: −1.0%, 95% CI: −1.2, −0.8), and adults aged 65–74 years (1999–2011: −1.2%, 95% CI: −1.6, −0.9).


      In the United States, the mortality rate from COPD has declined since 1999 in men and some age groups but appears to be still rising in women, albeit at a reduced pace.

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