Trends in the epidemiology of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in England: a national study of 51 804 patients

Colin R. Simpson*, Julia Hippisley-Cox, Aziz Sheikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) constitute a substantial burden to healthcare services. Analysis of national healthcare datasets offers the possibility to advance understanding about the changing epidemiology of COPD.To investigate the epidemiology of physician-diagnosed COPD in general practice.Cross-sectional study.A total of 422 general practices in England contributing to the QRESEARCH database.Data were extracted on 2.8 million patients, including age, sex, socioeconomic status, and geographical area. Trends over time for recorded physician diagnosis of COPD were analysed (2001-2005).There was little change over time in the incidence rate of COPD (2005: 2.0 per 1000 patient-years, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.0 to 2.1), but a significant increase in lifetime prevalence rate (2001: 13.5 per 1000 patients [95% CI = 13.4 to 13.7]; 2005: 16.8 [95% CI = 16.7 to 17.0]; P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-284
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number576
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • epidemiology
  • general practice
  • socioeconomic status

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