A study from Brazil found that primary care patients were more familiar with the term “emphysema” (75.1%) than “COPD” (9.2%), a disparity they say was linked to level of education. The findings were published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Researchers from Brazil gave face to face interviews in the form of questionnaires to patrons at 12 general PCCs (primary care clinics) and 26 family health PCCs in an urban area between May 2013 and February 2014. A total of 674 PCC users over the age of 40 years had their COPD related knowledge assessed. In order to have satisfactory knowledge, the interviewees were asked about their familiarity with the terms “COPD” and “emphysema;” if they were familiar with these terms, they were asked to elaborate about the risk factors and symptoms associated with the diseases.

A majority of the interviewees recognized either the term “COPD” or “emphysema,” though 9.2% recognized “COPD” while 75.1% recognized “emphysema.” Being familiar with the terms was linked to having a higher level of education, though was not associated with age, sex, or smoking.

Satisfactory knowledge (which the researchers defined as knowing at least 2 of COPD’s symptoms and acknowledging smoking as a risk factor for the disease) among the participants was 16.2%.