Social inequalities and health. Are socioeconomic factors of etiological relevance in development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among non- smokers?
Nordheim E, Claussen B. Department of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Smoking is a well known risk factor for development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study focused on the non-smoking COPD patients, and however socioeconomic factors were of etiological importance in the development of their COPD. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study is based on the material from the Oslo Health Study (HUBRO), a population based study of 18,770 citizens of Oslo, Norway. We evaluated the relationships between COPD and smoking, age, sex, education, income, size of apartment/house and certain environmental and disease factors. RESULTS: This study could not find significant results for increased prevalence of COPD among non- smokers in social disadvantaged groups.Outdoor- and indoor air pollution, asthma and allergy, had a significant increased prevalence among non- smoking COPD patients.CONCLUSION: There are several studies which have shown social inequalities in the prevalence of disease, but this study could not find significant results for increased prevalence of COPD among non- smokers in social disadvantaged groups.