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Profiles of chronic obstructive lung disease: characteristics of stable chronic obstructive lung disease in different parts of Asia

Bhome, Arvind B.a; Brashier, Billb

Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: March 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 165–172
doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000033

Purpose of review This review discusses the recent Asian chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) studies that characterize stable COPD, to understand its peculiarities.

Recent findings Asian research has improved our understanding of COPD. Household air pollution (HAP) is as important as smoking. Smoking in Asia is varied, and noncigarette smoking exposure remains under-investigated. Prevalence studies are often questionnaire based. Spirometry-based prevalence needs study. Burden of obstructive lung disease studies are getting published. Female COPD in Asia is predominantly HAP induced. The patients are underweight, milder ’Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease- class’ and have compromised health-related quality of life often with depression and anxiety, but other comorbidities do occur and are getting defined.

Nonsmokers‘ COPD is often associated with small airway thickening, less emphysema, but considerable morbidity. Asian COPD may have an eosinophilic component, but its significance is unknown. There is genetic predisposition among some Asians to COPD, and among some patients to lung cancer. The emerging pandemic of lifestyle diseases demands that metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities in COPD need investigation.

Summary COPD in Asia is increasing and burdensome. It is affecting both sexes; is caused by HAP as much as smoking; causes poor quality of life and intense psychological burden; and is associated with unique patho-physiology, which will require research and action.

aIndian Coalition for the study of Obstructive Lung Diseases

bChest Research Foundation, Kalyaninagar, Pune, India

Correspondence to Dr Arvind B. Bhome, 401 Yashod Apartments, CTS No.70B/1B, Erandawane, Pune 411004, India. Tel: +91 9371026216, 91 0 20 25667718, 91 0 20 24338988; e-mail:,

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins