Original Article

The association between airflow obstruction and radiologic change by tuberculosis

Yong Il Hwang, Joo Hee Kim, Chang Youl Lee, Sunghoon Park, Yong Bum Park, Seung Hun Jang, Cheol Hong Kim, Tae Rim Shin, Sang Myun Park, Yun Su Sim, Dong-Gyu Kim, Myung-Goo Lee, In-Gyu Hyun, Ki-Suck Jung


Introduction: Cigarette smoking is the most commonly encountered risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, it is not the only one and there is consistent evidence from epidemiologic studies that nonsmokers may develop chronic airflow limitation. A history of tuberculosis has recently been found to be associated with airflow obstruction in adults older than 40 years. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the radiologic changes by tuberculosis and airflow obstruction in a population based sample.
Methods: A nationwide COPD prevalence survey was conducted. We compared the prevalence of airflow obstruction according to the presence of the radiologic change by the tuberculosis.
Results: We analyzed 1,384 subjects who participated in the nationwide Korean COPD survey. All subjects were older than 40 years and took the spirometry and simple chest radiography. We defined the airflow obstruction as FEV1/FVC <0.7. A total of 149 (10.8%) subjects showed airflow obstruction. A total of 167 (12.1%) subjects showed radiologic change by tuberculosis. Among these 167 subjects, 44 (26.3%) had airflow obstruction. For the subjects without radiologic change by tuberculosis, the prevalence of airflow obstruction was only 8.6%. The unadjusted odds ratio for airflow obstruction according to the radiologic change was 3.788 (95% CI: 2.544-5.642).
Conclusions: The radiologic change by tuberculosis was associated with airflow obstruction.

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