Article Abstract

The association between living below the relative poverty line and the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors: Young Seok Lee, Jee Youn Oh, Kyung Hoon Min, Sung Yong Lee, Kyung Ho Kang, Jae Jeong Shim

Abstract

Background: Because poverty is a multifaceted concept with a complex definition, this concept may not be useful when formulating economic policy. Thus, most governments use the relative poverty line to identify poor participants who may receive economic support. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between living below the relative poverty line and the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from 3,223 individuals included in South Korea. Living below the poverty line was defined as receiving a monthly income less than the minimum cost of living.
Results: Of the 3,223 participants included in this analysis, 832 (25.8%) met the definition of living below the relative poverty line and 384 (11.9%) had COPD. Of the 3,223 participants, 161 of the 832 (19.4%) living below the poverty line and 223 of the 2,391 (9.3%) living above the poverty line had COPD. In our study, participants living below the poverty line had a 1.4-time higher risk of COPD development compared with those living above the poverty line (OR =1.4; P=0.012). Elderly people living below the poverty line were 1.5-time more likely to be at risk of COPD development than those living above the poverty line (OR =1.5; P=0.021).
Conclusions: People living below the relative poverty line have an increased prevalence of COPD, especially older people with COPD. From the perspective of COPD disease control, policy makers should consider providing national economic support for the early detection and management of COPD in people living below the relative poverty line.