COPD-Related Mortality by Sex and Race Among Adults Aged 25 and Over: United States, 2000-2014

September 8, 2016

Questions for Hanyu Ni, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Science and Lead Author on “COPD-Related Mortality by Sex and Race Among Adults Aged 25 and Over: United States, 2000-2014

Q: How have trends in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) related deaths changed since 2000?

HN: Overall, the COPD-related death rate decreased 12.3% from 2000 through 2014 after adjustment for age. The crude death rate remained flat over time.


Q: What is the difference between COPD-related deaths and chronic lower respiratory disease mortality – the latter which is listed as the third leading cause of death in the United States?

HN: Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) comprises three major diseases, i.e., chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma — that are all characterized by shortness of breath caused by airway obstruction. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes mainly emphysema and chronic bronchitis. From 2000 through 2014, COPD accounted for approximately 96% of all CLRD deaths every
year.


Q: How has COPD-related mortality changed among men and women over time?

HN: The COPD-related death rate declined more rapidly among men than among women. The age-adjusted rate for men declined 22.5% from 183.0 per 100,000 standard population in 2000, to 141.9 in 2014. The rate for women declined 3.8% from 104.9 in 2000 to 100.9 in 2014.


Q: Are there differences among race and age groups in COPD-related deaths?

HN: The changes over time in the COPD-related death rate differed by sex, race, and age. Between 2000 and 2014, the COPD-related death rate declined among men aged 65 and older and among women aged 65 and 84. However, the death rate increased among middle-aged men and women aged 45-64 and women aged 85 years and older. During the same period, the rate declined among white men and black men, remained stable among white women, but increased among black women.


Q: What do you think is the most significant finding in your new study?

HN: Using multiple-cause-of death data, this analysis found that the COPD-related death rate is roughly twice as high as the previously reported rate based on the underlying cause of death. This analysis also revealed an increased risk in COPD-related mortality among black women, both men and women aged 45-64, and women aged 85 and over.

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