Scientific article

Prevalence of airflow obstruction in smokers and never-smokers in Switzerland

Published inThe European respiratory journal, vol. 36, no. 6, p. 1259-1269
Publication date2010

The aim of the present study was to measure age-specific prevalence of airflow obstruction in Switzerland in smokers and never-smokers using pulmonary function tests and respiratory symptoms from 6,126 subjects participating in the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Diseases in Adults. The lower limit of normal of the forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity ratio was used to define airflow obstruction. Severity of airflow obstruction was graded according to the recommendations of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Prevalence of airflow obstruction ranged from 2.5% in subjects aged 30-39 yrs to 8.0% in those aged >/= 70 yrs. In multivariate analysis, age (OR 2.8, >/= 70 yrs versus 30-39 yrs), smoking (OR 1.8) and asthma (OR 6.7) were associated with airflow obstruction. Never-smokers constituted 29.3% of subjects with airflow obstruction. Never-smokers with airflow obstruction were younger, more likely to be male and reported asthma more frequently than obstructive smokers. Obstructive smokers and never-smokers had similar level of symptoms and quality of life impairment. The prevalence of airflow obstruction in Switzerland is similar to other developed countries. Never-smokers account for a third of the prevalence, which is higher proportion than elsewhere. Airflow obstruction in never-smokers deserves attention because of its frequency and its similar health impact to that in smokers.

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Airway Obstruction/*epidemiology/physiopathology
  • Asthma/epidemiology/physiopathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking/*epidemiology/physiopathology
  • Switzerland/epidemiology
Citation (ISO format)
BRIDEVAUX, Pierre-Olivier et al. Prevalence of airflow obstruction in smokers and never-smokers in Switzerland. In: The European respiratory journal, 2010, vol. 36, n° 6, p. 1259–1269. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00004110
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0903-1936

Technical informations

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