Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Albania


  • Holta Tafa
  • Donika Mema
  • Arian Mezini
  • Jolanda Nikolla
  • Alma Teferici
  • Dafina Todri
  • Genc Burazeri
  • Hasan Hafizi



Aim: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of COPD and its associated factors among adults in Albania.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Albania in 2013-14. A nation-wide representative sample of 1200 adults aged ≥40 years was selected using multistage cluster sampling technique. All participants were interviewed about socio-demographic characteristics, respiratory symptoms, smoking status and clinical characteristics. Spirometry was performed according to standard methods. COPD was defined as post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio <70% predicted.

Results: Of the 1200 adults invited to participate, 939 adults or 78% (467 men and 472 women) were eligible for the study. The overall COPD prevalence (GOLD stage 1 or higher) was 12.4%; it was higher in men (17.4%) than in women (7.7%). Using Lower Limit of Normal (LLN), the prevalence of COPD was 9.9%, again higher in men (13.2%) than women (6.6%). The prevalence of doctor-diagnosed COPD was 1.3% (1.9% in men, 0.6 % in women). Male sex, smoking and increasing age were significantly associated with COPD diagnosis.

Conclusion: The overall prevalence of COPD in Albania was 9.9% using BOLD standards. Smoking and increasing age were the main risk factors for COPD. The study highlights the importance of raising awareness of COPD among health professionals.




How to Cite

Tafa, H., Mema, D., Mezini, A., Nikolla, J., Teferici, A., Todri, D., Burazeri, G., & Hafizi, H. (2023). Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Albania. South Eastern European Journal of Public Health.



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