A recent study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found more evidence that rural residence and poverty are risk factors for COPD.

The researchers found the COPD prevalence was almost double in poor, rural areas compared with that of the overall population (15.4% versus 8.4%). Both rural residence and census-level poverty were associated with COPD prevalence in adjusted models (odds ratios, 1.23 and 1.12, respectively), as were indicators of household wealth.

Rural residence and neighborhood use of coal for heating were also correlated with COPD among never-smokers (odds ratios, 1.34 and 1.09, respectively).

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