Predictors of chronic bronchitis in South African adults

Ehrlich, R.I., White, N., Norman, R., Laubscher, R., Steyn, K., Lombard, C., & Bradshaw, D. (2004) Predictors of chronic bronchitis in South African adults. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 8(3), pp. 369-376.

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National household survey of adults in South Africa, a middle income country.


To determine the prevalence and predictors of chronic bronchitis.


A stratified national probability sample of households was selected. All adults in the selected households were interviewed. Chronic bronchitis was defined as chronic productive cough. Socio-demographic predictors were wealth, education, race, age and urban residence. Personal and exposure variables included history of tuberculosis, domestic exposure to smoky fuels, occupational exposures, smoking and body mass index.


The overall prevalence of chronic bronchitis was 2.3% in men and 2.8% in women. The strongest predictor of chronic bronchitis was a history of tuberculosis (men, odds ratio [OR] 4.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.6-9.2; women, OR 6.6; 95% CI 3.7-11.9). Other risk factors were smoking, occupational exposure (in men), domestic exposure to smoky fuel (in women) and (in univariate analysis only) being underweight. Wealth and particularly education were protective.


The pattern of chronic bronchitis in South Africa suggests a combination of risk factors that includes not only smoking but also tuberculosis, occupational exposures in men and domestic fuel exposure in women. Control of these risk factors requires public health action across a broad front. The protective role of education requires elucidation.

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ID Code: 79824
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Chronic bronchitis, Developing countries, Fuel, Occupation, Tobacco, adult, age distribution, anamnesis, article, body mass, cigarette smoking, confidence interval, controlled study, coughing, demography, developing country, disease course, education, female, health survey, human, interview, major clinical study, male, occupational exposure, population research, prevalence, priority journal, probability, sex difference, socioeconomics, South Africa, tuberculosis, underweight, Adolescent, Aged, Bronchitis, Chronic, Fuel Oils, Health Surveys, Humans, Middle Aged, Peak Expiratory Flow Rate, Risk Factors, Smoke, Smoking, Socioeconomic Factors
ISSN: 1027-3719
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2015 00:50
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2015 00:33

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