The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and its attributable risk factors in the Middle East and North Africa region, 1990–2019

Hamidreza Feizi, Mahasti Alizadeh, Seyed Aria Nejadghaderi, Maryam Noori, Mark J.M. Sullman, Javad Ahmadian Heris, Ali Asghar Kolahi, Gary S. Collins, Saeid Safiri

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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease that is characterised by persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation. The present study reported the burden of COPD, and its attributable risk factors, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region between 1990 and 2019, by age, sex and socio-demographic index (SDI). Methods: Data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2019 study were used to report the burden of COPD in the MENA countries. The prevalence, deaths, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were presented as counts and age-standardised rates per 100,000 population, with their associated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). Results: In 2019, the regional age-standardised point prevalence and rates of death due to COPD were 2333.9 (2230.1, 2443.6) and 26.1 (22.2, 29.5) per 100,000, which represent a 30.6% (28.2%, 33.0%) increase and an 18.0% (2.8%, 30.9%) decrease, respectively, since 1990. The regional age-standardised DALY rate in 2019 was 649.1 (574.6, 717.7) per 100,000, which had decreased by 11.8% (0.9%, 21.1%) since 1990. Turkey had the highest age-standardised point prevalence in 2019 [3287.1 (3187.4, 3380.3)], while Afghanistan had the highest age-standardised death [40.4 (24.2, 52.6)] and DALY [964.5 (681.8, 1203.2)] rates. The regional age-standardised point prevalence, death and DALY rates in 2019 increased with advancing age and were higher in males in almost all age groups. There was a U-shaped association between SDI and the burden of COPD over the period 1990 to 2019. Moreover, in 2019 smoking (43.7%), ambient particulate matter pollution (22.8%) and occupational particulate matter (11.4%) had the largest proportion of attributable DALYs for both sexes. Conclusions: COPD is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the MENA region, although the age-standardised burden has decreased over the last 30 years. Nevertheless, COPD accounted for a substantial number of deaths and DALYs, especially among the elderly. Programs targeting risk factors, like smoking, should be taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number319
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Global burden of disease
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Risk factor
  • Socio-demographic index


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