According to HCP Live, COPD and multiple comorbidities are major public health issues in the state of Kentucky.

The researchers set out to investigate “the burden of COPD in Kentucky and to evaluate the link between COPD and the major comorbidities with regard to age, sex, cigarette smoking, education level, income and Area Development Districts (ADDs).” There are 120 counties in Kentucky that share common characteristics. The ADDs are a network of “multi-county planning and development organizations.”

There were 9,585 participants from 15 ADDs, and of them 6,283 (65.5%) were women, with a mean age of 56.6 years. The men’s mean age was 53.7 years. The researchers found that the “rate of COPD varies considerably among the ADDs,” and is most prevalent in the Big Sandy and Kentucky River districts, where 18.8% and 16.8% of residents have the disease. The level of education was low in those two areas, as well. In all but one of the ADDs, COPD was more common among women than men.

The most common comorbidity was arthritis, then hypertension, depression, and diabetes. Women had arthritis and depression more often than men. When the data was adjusted for age, level of education, and smoking status, researchers found that “people with COPD had more risk of angina, arthritis, depression, diabetes and hypertension than people without COPD.”

View the full story at