Underdiagnosis of obstructive lung disease: findings from the French CONSTANCES cohort

Publié le 14 octobre 2021
Mis à jour le 6 juillet 2022

BACKGROUND: The burden of undiagnosed obstructive lung disease (OLD) (mainly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is not fully established, and targets for corrective action are yet to be identified. We assessed the underdiagnosis of OLD and its determinants in France. METHODS: CONSTANCES is a French population-based cohort of adults aged 18-69 years at inception. We analysed data collected at inclusion in 2013-2014. Undiagnosed OLD was defined as spirometry-confirmed airflow limitation (FEV(1)/FVC?<?lower limit of normal) without prior diagnosis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or bronchiectasis. Multivariate analysis was performed with weighted robust Poisson regression models to estimate the adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) of undiagnosed OLD. RESULTS: Spirometry results were available for 19,398 participants. The prevalence of airflow limitation was 4.6%. Overall, 64.4% of adults with airflow limitation did not report a previous diagnosis of OLD. Individuals with high cumulative tobacco consumption (??10 pack-years) (aPR: 1.72 [1.28-2.32]), without respiratory symptoms (aPR: 1.51 [1.28-1.78]), and with preserved lung function (aPR: 1.21 [1.04-1.41] for a 10-point increase in FEV(1)% predicted) had a higher risk of being undiagnosed. Half of symptomatic individuals with airflow limitation (45% of those with moderate to severe airflow limitation) were undiagnosed with OLD. CONCLUSION: Underdiagnosis of OLD is very common among French adults, even in patients with respiratory symptoms. Efforts should be made in France to raise awareness about OLD in the general population, improve the detection of respiratory symptoms, and increase the use of spirometry among primary care professionals.

Auteur : Delmas Marie-Christine, Bénézet Laetitia, Ribet Céline, Iwatsubo Yuriko, Zins Marie, Nadif Rachel, Roche Nicolas, Leynaert Bénédicte
BMC pulmonary medicine, 2021, vol. 21, n°. 1, p. 319