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Risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a tertiary health institution in Lagos, Nigeria

Obianuju B. Ozoh
Sandra K. Dede
Ogochukwu A. Ekete
Oluwafemi O. Ojo
Michelle G. Dania


Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics and identifiable risk factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in a real-world clinical setting.
Design: Cross-sectional study among patients with COPD.
Setting: The Respiratory clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Participants: Consecutive patients with spirometry confirmed COPD on follow-up for ≥3 months. There were 79 participants.
Intervention: None
Main outcome measure: COPD risk factors, disease severity, comorbidities, and the severity of airflow limitation.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 63.3± 12.4 years, and 47 (59.5) were male. There was a high symptom burden (73.4% had COPD assessment test (CAT) score >10), 33 (41.8%) and 4 (5.1%) had GOLD 3 and GOLD 4 airflow limitation, respectively. Risk factors were identified for 96.2% of the participants: history of asthma in 37 (46.8%), tobacco smoking 22 (27.8%), occupational exposure 15 (19%), biomass exposure 5 (6.6%), post-tuberculosis 3 (3.8%), old age (3.8%), and prematurity 1 (1.3%). Fifty-nine (74.7%) had Asthma COPD Overlap (ACO). There were no significant associations between the risk factors and disease severity. Participants with ACO had lower lung function and a high frequency of allergic rhinitis.
Conclusion: Asthma was the most commonly identifiable risk factor for COPD, underscoring asthma risk reduction and management optimisation as priorities toward COPD burden mitigation. Future studies need to validate these findings and identify the predominant COPD phenotypes in our setting.

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print ISSN: 0016-9560