BACKGROUND: Risk factors for COPD in high-income settings are well understood; however, less attention has been paid to contributors of COPD in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as pulmonary tuberculosis. We sought to study the association between previous tuberculosis disease and COPD by using pooled population-based cross-sectional data in 13 geographically diverse, low-resource settings. METHODS: We pooled six cohorts in 13 different LMIC settings, 6 countries and 3 continents to study the relationship between self-reported previous tuberculosis disease and lung function outcomes including COPD (defined as a postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) below the lower limit of normal). Multivariable regressions with random effects were used to examine the association between previous tuberculosis disease and lung function outcomes. RESULTS: We analysed data for 12 396 participants (median age 54.0 years, 51.5% male); 332 (2.7%) of the participants had previous tuberculosis disease. Overall prevalence of COPD was 8.8% (range 1.7%-15.5% across sites). COPD was four times more common among those with previous tuberculosis disease (25.7% vs 8.3% without previous tuberculosis disease, p<0.001). The adjusted odds of having COPD was 3.78 times higher (95% CI 2.87 to 4.98) for participants with previous tuberculosis disease than those without a history of tuberculosis disease. The attributable fraction of COPD due to previous tuberculosis disease in the study sample was 6.9% (95% CI 4.8% to 9.6%). Participants with previous tuberculosis disease also had lower prebronchodilator Z-scores for FEV1 (-0.70, 95% CI -0.84 to -0.55), FVC (-0.44, 95% CI -0.59 to -0.29) and the FEV1:FVC ratio (-0.63, 95% CI -0.76 to -0.51) when compared with those without previous tuberculosis disease. CONCLUSIONS: Previous tuberculosis disease is a significant and under-recognised risk factor for COPD and poor lung function in LMICs. Better tuberculosis control will also likely reduce the global burden of COPD.
- COPD epidemiology