Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often accompanied by multiple comorbidities, which are associated with an increased risk of exacerbation, a poor health-related quality of life, and high mortality. However, differences in comorbidity profile by race and ethnicity in COPD patients have not been fully elucidated. Methods: Participants aged 40 to 79 years with spirometry-defined COPD from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (2007-2012) and from the Korea NHANES (2007-2015) were analyzed to compare the prevalence of comorbidities by race and ethnicity group. Comorbidities were defined using questionnaire data, physical exams, and laboratory tests. Results: Non-Hispanic Whites had the highest prevalence of dyslipidemia (65.5%), myocardial infarction (6.2%), osteoarthritis (40.1%), and osteoporosis (13.6%), while non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest prevalence of asthma (24.0%), hypertension (70.2%), stroke (7.3%), diabetes mellitus (DM) (23.3%), anemia (16.4%), and rheumatoid arthritis (11.9%). Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension, stroke, DM, anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and smoking status, while Hispanics had a significantly higher prevalence of DM and anemia, and Koreans had significantly lower prevalences of all comorbidities except stroke, DM, and anemia. Conclusions: COPD-related comorbidities varied significantly by race and ethnicity, and different strategies may be required for the optimal management of COPD and its comorbidities in different race and ethnicity groups.
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