Published Papers - Abstract 1045

Engel RM, de Luca K, Graham P, Kaboli Farshchi M, Vemulpad S & Byles J. Breathing difficulty, chest and back pain predict bronchitis and emphysema in women. Respirology, 2019; 24(1): 72

Introduction/Aim: Introduction/Aim: Progressive loss of respiratory function often attributed to normal ageing, may be delayed if the early signs of chronic respiratory disease can be identified. Apart from a history of smoking, the ability to predict the development of conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has proven elusive. The aim of this study was to identify potential predictors of bronchitis or emphysema in women.Methods: A retrospective analysis of data from the middle cohort (born 1946-51) of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) was conducted to identify baseline (survey 1: year 1996) predictors of bronchitis or emphysema at survey 8 (year 2016) using logistic regression models. Predictors included difficulty breathing, chest pain, back pain and limitations in walking various distances.Results: Of the 13,715 women enrolled in the 1946-51 cohort of ALSWH at baseline, 8,622 completed Survey 8. Results showed a dose-response relationship for breathing difficulty, implying those with greater difficulty early in life were more likely to be diagnosed with bronchitis or emphysema later in life compared to those without breathing difficulty (Rarely: Odds ratio (OR):2.534 95%CI:2.064, 3.100, p<0.001; Sometimes: OR:3.271, 95%CI:2.669, 3.997, p<0.001; Often: OR:6.271, 95%CI:4.617, 8.430, p<0.001 respectively). Similar results were seen for chest pain and back pain. Compared to those who were not limited in walking 1 kilometre, those who were limited a little or a lot were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with bronchitis or emphysema (p<0.001).Conclusion: In women, breathing difficulty, chest and back pain at age 45-60 years are statistically significant predictors for a diagnosis of bronchitis or emphysema later in life. The presence of dose-response relationships suggests that earlier management of these symptoms may improve prognosis. Encouraging women to walk could also reduce their future risk of being diagnosed with bronchitis or emphysema.

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