According to a study published by the Journal of the COPD Foundation, mortality and morbidity related to COPD vary greatly state to state, with West Virginia identified as having the greatest COPD burden.

Researchers analyzed data from 906,120 survey participants and grouped the states based upon their performance in the 10 key metrics:

  1. Adults with COPD in the state
  2. those who smoke
  3. influenza vaccination among noninstitutionalized adults aged 45 years and older with COPD
  4. pneumococcal vaccination among noninstitutionalized adults aged 45 years and older with COPD;
  5. the crude percentage of 30-day COPD hospital readmission of all admissions of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries,
  6. the crude number of ED visits for patients with COPD per 1,000 all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with COPD,
  7. the age-adjusted rate of hospitalization for COPD as first-listed diagnosis among Medicare-eligible persons aged 65 years and older
  8. per capita medical cost for COPD by state adjusted for demographics and such medical conditions as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, back problems, injuries, renal failure, HIV/AIDS, skin disorders, and pregnancy,
  9. the age-adjusted number of COPD patients per a pulmonary rehabilitation program in the state, and
  10. the age-adjusted mortality rate from COPD per 100,000 adults of all ages in the state.

Using the above criteria, researchers determined an overall scores for each state and separated them into five groups. According to the results, West Virginia was the only state categorized in the Grade 5 group, identifying it as the state with the greatest COPD burden in 10 examined COPD-related areas. Fourteen other states had a severe COPD burden in the Grade 4 group. Notably, no states had a Grade 1 rating and only 12 had a Grade 2 rating.