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SETTING: The prevalence of airflow obstruction (AO) in the Caribbean population is unknown.OBJECTIVE: To measure the prevalence of and risk factors for AO (post-bronchodilator ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 sec to forced vital capacity of <0.7) in the Trinidad and Tobago general population using the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease methodology.DESIGN: National cross-sectional, stratified, cluster sampling of adults aged ≥40 years.RESULTS: AO prevalence was 9.5% among 1104 participants, most of whom were unaware of this. Compared to those aged 40-49 years, the adjusted odds ratio of AO by age group was 2.73 (60-69 years) and 3.30 (≥70 years). Risk factors for AO were unemployment (OR 4.31), being retired (OR 2.17), smoking ≥20 pack-years (OR 1.88) and exposure to dusty jobs for more than 1 year (OR 2.06). Related symptoms were history of wheezing, unscheduled visits to the doctor or admission to hospital for breathing problems and in subjects with at least one respiratory symptom (OR 1.90), at least one risk factor (OR 2.81), either symptoms or risk factors (OR 3.71) and both symptoms and risk factors (OR 5.78) (P < 0.05 in all cases).CONCLUSION: AO prevalence in the general population of Trinidad and Tobago aged ≥40 years was 9.5%, almost all of which was undiagnosed. AO was associated with smoking, age >59 years, lack of employment and working in a dusty job.


L Conyette, F Lutchmansingh, S Sakhamuri, D Simeon, M A Ivey, P Burney, T Seemungal. Prevalence and risk factors of airflow obstruction in a Caribbean population. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2020 May 01;24(5):512-519

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PMID: 32398201

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