Paid employment in subjects with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in five Latin American cities: The PLATINO study

María Montes De Oca, R. J. Halbert, C. Talamo, R. Perez-Padilla, M. V. Lopez, A. Muiño, J. R.B. Jardim, G. Valdivia, J. Pertuzé, D. Moreno, A. M.B. Menezes, M. Márquez, P. Hallal, M. Blanco, F. Rosa, A. Camelier, S. Buist, W. Vollmer, C. Torres, J. LunaC. Lisboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a costly condition that frequently causes permanent work disabilities. Little information exists regarding the impact of COPD on work force participation and the indirect costs of the disease in developing countries. OBJECTIVE: To examine the frequency of paid employment and factors infl uencing it in a Latin-American population-based study. METHODS: Post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC < 0.70 (forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity) was used to defi ne COPD. Information regarding paid work was assessed by the question 'At any time in the past year, have you worked for payment?' RESULTS: Interviews were conducted with 5571 subjects; 5314 (759 COPD and 4554 non-COPD) subjects underwent spirometry. Among the COPD subjects, 41.8% reported having paid work vs. 57.1% of non- COPD (P < 0.0001). The number of months with paid work was reduced in COPD patients (10.5 ± 0.17 vs. 10.9 ± 0.06, P < 0.05). The main factors associated with having paid work in COPD patients were male sex (OR 0.33, 95%CI 0.23-0.47), higher education level (OR 1.05, 95%CI 1.01-1.09) and younger age (OR 0.90, 95%CI 0.88-0.92). COPD was not a signifi cant contributor to employment (OR 0.83, 95%CI 0.69-1.00, P = 0.054) in the entire population. CONCLUSIONS: Although the proportion of persons with paid work is lower in COPD, having COPD appears not to have a signifi cant impact on obtaining paid employment in the overall population of developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1264
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Economic burden
  • Epidemiology
  • Indirect costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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