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Chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease (COPD) statistics


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name used to describe a
number of conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Emphysema affects the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs, and chronic bronchitis
affects your airways (bronchi). If you have COPD, you might have just one of
these conditions, or you might have more than one. Most COPD patients have
varying degrees of both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

With COPD, your airways become inflamed and the air sacs in your lungs are
damaged. This causes your airways to become narrower, which makes it harder
to breathe in and out. These breathing difficulties can affect many aspects of
your daily life.

These statistics on COPD in the UK were compiled as part of our Respiratory Health of the
Nation project by teams at St George’s, University of London, Nottingham University and
Imperial College London.

 Numbers of people diagnosed with COPD


 Ages of people living with a COPD diagnosis
 Deaths from COPD
 Emergency hospital admissions
 Standard of living and COPD
 Methodology

Numbers of people diagnosed with COPD


How many people in the UK have a diagnosis of
COPD?
An estimated 1.2 million people are living with diagnosed COPD – considerably more than
the 835,000 estimated by the Department of Health in 2011. In terms of diagnosed cases,
this makes COPD the second most common lung disease in the UK, after asthma. Around
2% of the whole population – 4.5% of all people aged over 40 – live with diagnosed COPD.

Our research also suggests that prevalence is growing. The number of people who have
ever had a diagnosis of COPD has increased by 27% in the last decade, from under 1,600
to nearly 2,000 per 100,000. This could mean that more undiagnosed cases are being
found, or that the disease is becoming more common. Changes in record-keeping could
also be a factor.

However, prevalence increased by 9% between 2008 and 2012, while record-keeping


practices remained the same. Earlier research has indicated that up to two-thirds of people
with COPD remain undiagnosed. New research is required to see if this is still valid, and to
ascertain the current prevalence of the disease.

Estimated numbers of people ever diagnosed with COPD 2004–12


2004200520062007200820092010201120120500,0001,000,0001,500,000
Number
of people
Year in the UK
with
COPD

2004 991,263

2005 1,018,732

2006 1,047,681

2007 1,094,567

2008 1,126,562

2009 1,161,975

2010 1,176,456

2011 1,222,113

2012 1,201,685
How many people have been diagnosed with COPD in
each region of the UK?
There was a higher proportion of people diagnosed with COPD in the north of the UK –
Scotland and the North East and North West of England. This was seen throughout the
years 2004–12.

Number of people ever diagnosed with COPD per 100,000, 2004–12


East MidlandsEast of EnglandLondonNorth EastNorth WestNorthern IrelandScotlandSouth
EastSouth WestWalesWest MidlandsYorkshire &
Humber2004200620082010201202505007501,0001,2501,5001,7502,0002,2502,5002,750
3,000
East East of North North Northern South South West Yorkshi
Year London Scotland Wales
Midlands England East West Ireland East West Midlands & Humb

2004 1,713 1,354 1,457 2,240 2,210 1,895 2,202 1,220 1,406 2,088 1,661 1,888

2005 1,740 1,404 1,522 2,297 2,318 2,091 2,107 1,336 1,412 1,999 1,719 1,806

2006 1,799 1,451 1,614 2,345 2,326 2,009 2,147 1,354 1,486 2,058 1,694 1,858

2007 1,811 1,576 1,670 2,427 2,366 2,116 2,325 1,397 1,542 2,085 1,754 1,882

2008 1,818 1,576 1,767 2,511 2,399 2,063 2,217 1,447 1,593 2,106 1,784 1,893

2009 1,853 1,629 1,778 2,581 2,409 2,090 2,252 1,468 1,612 2,078 1,817 1,985

2010 1,872 1,630 1,821 2,477 2,372 2,083 2,274 1,509 1,639 2,078 1,806 1,868

2011 1,900 1,749 1,869 2,530 2,427 2,079 2,319 1,549 1,690 2,139 1,895 1,840

2012 2,055 1,763 1,909 2,600 2,452 2,115 2,369 1,612 1,748 2,173 1,916 2,008

How many people are first diagnosed with COPD each


year in the UK?
115,000 people are diagnosed with COPD each year – equivalent to a new diagnosis every
5 minutes. In the five years up to 2008, incidence rates went down from 212 to 185
per 100,000. This could be due to changes in record-keeping, or could reflect a genuine fall
in the number of people developing the condition. The data contrast with the rise in
prevalence over the same period. Since 2008 incidence has been stable, with just under
115,000 new diagnoses recorded in 2012.

Number of new COPD diagnoses, per 100,000 people, 2004–12


20042006200820102012050100150200250
Year Prevalence

2004 226

2005 219

2006 207

2007 204

2008 193

2009 186

2010 187

2011 197

2012 193

How many people are newly diagnosed with COPD in


each UK region in 2004–13?
For the period 2004–13, proportionately more people were diagnosed for the first
time with COPD in Scotland and the northern regions of England than in other parts of the
UK.

Number of people newly diagnosed with COPD per 100,000, by UK


region, 2004–12
East MidlandsEast of EnglandLondonNorth EastNorth WestNorthern IrelandScotlandSouth
EastSouth WestWalesWest MidlandsYorkshire &
Humber20042006200820102012050100150200250300350
East East of North North Northern South South West Yorkshi
Year London Scotland Wales
Midlands England East West Ireland East West Midlands & Humb

2004 230 203 202 333 286 335 274 186 226 249 222 255

2005 198 185 234 285 295 316 233 204 212 245 209 180

2006 237 171 215 292 262 248 237 183 202 225 196 173

2007 199 194 211 328 245 204 250 173 193 218 207 174

2008 177 185 202 269 237 191 222 172 190 193 195 158

2009 186 191 202 277 227 181 221 149 165 194 182 206

2010 201 201 187 221 235 185 232 154 160 184 169 223

2011 192 194 193 248 246 159 241 160 176 219 192 174

2012 209 163 196 177 234 187 238 170 172 197 175 197

How many males and females are living with a COPD


diagnosis in the UK?
In 2012, about 10 per cent more males than females were living with a COPD diagnosis.
Throughout the years 2004–12, proportions of the population with diagnosed COPD were
always higher among males than females.

Number of males and females ever diagnosed with COPD per 100,000,
2004–12
MaleFemale2004200620082010201205001,0001,5002,0002,500
Year Male Female

2004 1,641 1,409

2005 1,701 1,463

2006 1,753 1,520

2007 1,807 1,586

2008 1,850 1,638


Year Male Female

2009 1,875 1,675

2010 1,908 1,705

2011 1,959 1,765

2012 2,022 1,821

How many males and females received their first COPD


diagnosis each year in 2004–12?
In 2012, 210 males and 175 females for every 100,000 were newly diagnosed with COPD.
Those figures are down from 242 for males and 209 for females in 2004.

Number of males and females per 100,000 newly diagnosed with COPD
each year, 2004–12
MaleFemale20042006200820102012050100150200250300
Year Male Female

2004 242 209

2005 235 203

2006 222 191

2007 218 190

2008 204 182

2009 197 175

2010 202 172

2011 208 186

2012 210 175


Ages of people living with a COPD diagnosis
How old are the people with COPD in the UK?
Figures show that people living with a COPD diagnosis are mostly over the age of 40. The
proportion of people living with COPD increases markedly with advancing age.

Number of people ever diagnosed with COPD per 100,000, by age group,
2004–12
31 to 4041 to 5051 to 6061 to 7071 to 8081 and
over2004200620082010201201,0002,0003,0004,0005,0006,0007,0008,0009,000
31 41 81
51 to 61 to 71 to
Year to to and
60 70 80
40 50 over

2004 63 408 1,707 4,508 7,171 6,390

2005 65 423 1,802 4,671 7,368 6,537

2006 70 436 1,851 4,852 7,570 6,747

2007 76 458 1,962 5,003 7,705 7,065

2008 79 474 2,037 5,061 7,845 7,285

2009 76 502 2,053 5,075 7,981 7,422

2010 77 522 2,085 5,126 8,065 7,549

2011 82 557 2,165 5,243 8,151 7,766

2012 87 596 2,228 5,385 8,343 7,999

How old are the people newly diagnosed with COPD


each year in the UK?
In the period 2004–12, the people who were first diagnosed with COPD were mostly over
the age of 40, with the chances of developing the condition increasing as people got older.
Number of people newly diagnosed with COPD per 100,000, by age
group, 2004–12
31 to 4041 to 5051 to 6061 to 7071 to 8081 and
over2004200620082010201201002003004005006007008009001,000
31 41 51 61 71 81
Year to to to to to and
40 50 60 70 80 over

2004 19 109 337 701 906 628

2005 21 99 333 679 859 620

2006 19 99 317 628 806 577

2007 23 101 323 600 788 570

2008 18 94 315 567 721 548

2009 22 97 310 547 666 507

2010 18 104 319 556 645 478

2011 26 119 329 577 675 469

2012 23 115 315 558 677 476

Deaths from COPD


How many people die from COPD in the UK compared
with the rest of the world?
The UK is among the top 20 countries for COPD mortality worldwide. In Europe, only
Denmark and Hungary have higher death rates for COPD, while rates are higher in the
United States and New Zealand than in the UK.

Number of COPD deaths per million per year by country, 2001–10


Age-standardised mortality rate (per million of
population)0200400600800KyrgyzstanColombiaSouth AfricaPhilippinesRepublic of
MoldovaDenmarkBrazilUnited States of AmericaMexicoNew ZealandHungaryUnited
KingdomCosta
RicaMaldivesNetherlandsUruguayIrelandBelgiumVenezuelaNorwayBahrainPanamaCubaRo
maniaCanadaNicaraguaHong Kong SARIcelandPuerto
RicoChileLithuaniaBelizeUzbekistanAustraliaAustriaSpainLuxembourgSaint LuciaSri
LankaJamaicaCroatiaSerbiaMaltaGermanySloveniaItalyPolandSwedenTFYR
MacedoniaEgyptIsraelCzech RepublicPortugalRepublic of
KoreaBulgariaGuatemalaFinlandSlovakiaArgentinaJordanEcuadorTrinidad and
TobagoReunionGrenadaMalaysiaSurinameEl
SalvadorGuyanaEstoniaThailandMauritiusSaint Vincent and
GrenadinesFijiLatviaPeruQatarCyprusParaguayDominican RepublicFranceFrench
GuianaVirgin Islands (USA)Occupied Palestinian
TerritoryBahamasJapanArubaBarbadosKuwaitOmanGeorgiaSaudi
ArabiaAzerbaijanGuadeloupeMartiniqueBoliviaIraqMoroccoMontenegroHaiti12th12th
Age-
standardised
Country mortality rate
(per million of
population)

Kyrgyzstan 696.3

Colombia 344.6

South Africa 331

Philippines 316.1

Republic of
307.6
Moldova

Denmark 289.9

Brazil 273.8

United States
248.2
of America

Mexico 242.8

New Zealand 238.7

Hungary 220.4

United
210.7
Kingdom

Costa Rica 201.3

Maldives 201.3
Age-
standardised
Country mortality rate
(per million of
population)

Netherlands 194.6

Uruguay 192.3

Ireland 191.7

Belgium 190.6

Venezuela 185.2

Norway 178.5

Bahrain 175.9

Panama 170.3

Cuba 165.1

Romania 164.9

Canada 164.3

Nicaragua 162.2

Hong Kong
160
SAR

Iceland 159.7

Puerto Rico 159.3

Chile 153.3

Lithuania 150.3

Belize 148.7

Uzbekistan 144.2

Australia 143.2

Austria 141.9

Spain 139.9

Luxembourg 138.1

Saint Lucia 136.1


Age-
standardised
Country mortality rate
(per million of
population)

Sri Lanka 132.2

Jamaica 131.8

Croatia 131.4

Serbia 131.2

Malta 128.7

Germany 125.5

Slovenia 122

Italy 115.9

Poland 114.3

Sweden 113.6

TFYR
112
Macedonia

Egypt 110.7

Israel 107.1

Czech
106.7
Republic

Portugal 104.4

Republic of
104.3
Korea

Bulgaria 100.8

Guatemala 97.8

Finland 96.2

Slovakia 93.3

Argentina 92.9

Jordan 90.4

Ecuador 90.2
Age-
standardised
Country mortality rate
(per million of
population)

Trinidad and
90.1
Tobago

Reunion 89

Grenada 87.1

Malaysia 85

Suriname 76.7

El Salvador 75.7

Guyana 75.4

Estonia 71.2

Thailand 66.7

Mauritius 66.1

Saint Vincent
and 65.8
Grenadines

Fiji 61.2

Latvia 59.5

Peru 57.9

Qatar 56.6

Cyprus 55.5

Paraguay 54.8

Dominican
53.8
Republic

France 52

French
50.6
Guiana

Virgin
Islands 49.4
(USA)
Age-
standardised
Country mortality rate
(per million of
population)

Occupied
Palestinian 47.4
Territory

Bahamas 43.3

Japan 40.9

Aruba 34.5

Barbados 32.2

Kuwait 28.9

Oman 21.4

Georgia 18.6

Saudi Arabia 17.5

Azerbaijan 16.6

Guadeloupe 16

Martinique 15

Bolivia 12.7

Iraq 7.6

Morocco 4.3

Montenegro 2.6

Haiti 1.8

How many males and females died from COPD in the


UK in 2012?
In 2012, 29,776 people died from COPD (5.3 per cent of the total number of UK deaths and
26.1 per cent of deaths from lung disease).
Of these, 15,245 were males and 14,531 were females. The total number of deaths was up
from 28,344 in 2008.

Along with lung cancer and pneumonia, COPD is one of the three leading contributors to
respiratory mortality in developed countries such as the UK.

UK deaths from COPD compared with other lung diseases, 2012


COPD26.1%Pneumonia25.3%Lung cancer31%Idiopathic pulmonaryfibrosis4.6%Lung
diseases due toexternal agents3.7%Pleural mesothelioma2.1%Acute lower
respiratoryinfections1.4%
Disease Deaths

Lung cancer 35,419

COPD 29,776

Pneumonia 28,952

Idiopathic
pulmonary 5,292
fibrosis

Lung diseases
due to external 4,171
agents

Pleural
2,431
mesothelioma

Pulmonary
2,275
embolism

Acute lower
respiratory 1,589
infections

Bronchiectasis 1,567

Asthma 1,246

Other pulmonary
594
vascular diseases

Respiratory TB 282

Sarcoidosis 170

Acute respiratory
127
failure
Disease Deaths

Perinatal and
congenital
119
respiratory
conditions

Cystic fibrosis 111

Influenza 104

How old were the people who died from COPD in


2012?
Of the 29,776 people who died from COPD in 2012:

 2,719 were aged 15–64; and


 27,056 were aged 65 and above.

How many people died from COPD in each UK region


in 2008–12?
England: The COPD mortality rate was higher in the North East and North West of
England, compared with the UK generally. In those regions, the relative increase was
greater among females than males. Death rates from COPD were notably lower in the East
of England and the South West than in other parts of the UK.

Scotland: COPD mortality rates were higher than in the UK generally, but similar to
northern England. The relative differences were greater among females than males.

Wales: The death rate from COPD was slightly higher than in the UK generally.

Northern Ireland: Death rates for COPD were similar to rates for the UK generally, with a
slight increase among males.

COPD mortality ratios by UK regions, males and females, 2008–12


Age-standardised mortality ratio (SMR) with 95% confidence
intervalsMalesFemales050100150North EastNorth WestYorkshire & HumbersideEast
MidlandsWest MidlandsEast of EnglandLondonSouth EastSouth
WestWalesScotlandNorthern IrelandUnited Kingdom
Region Males Females

North East 117 140

North West 115 128

Yorkshire &
101 109
Humberside

East Midlands 95 90

West Midlands 101 93

East of
83 77
England

London 95 86

South East 101 93

South West 86 74

Wales 103 106

Scotland 112 132

Northern
105 101
Ireland

United
100 100
Kingdom

Relative risk of death from COPD, by local authority district (England,


Scotland and Wales), 2008–12

© Copyright info

Relative risk is used in medical research to compare risk in different groups of people. In
the maps we show the risk of an area (local authority district) relative to the average for
Scotland, England and Wales. Here we show whether the group of people living in a
particular area have a risk of dying from COPD that is lower or higher than the average.
Because of the way relative risk is calculated there must always be some areas above
average and some below average.

You can find out how these figures were calculated.

Emergency hospital admissions


How do rates of emergency admission to hospital for
COPD vary across the UK, 2008–12?
England: There were higher rates of emergency admission for the North East, the North
West and Yorkshire and the Humber compared with the UK generally, with admission rates
for females markedly higher in the North East and North West.

In London, admission rates for males were higher, while female admission rates were
similar to the UK generally.

Admission rates were notably lower in the East of England, South East and South West
than in the UK generally.

Scotland: Rates of admission were higher compared with the UK generally, with more
females admitted than males.

Wales: Rates of admission were higher compared with the UK generally, with no significant
difference between males and females.

Northern Ireland: Rates of admission were higher compared with the UK generally, with
more males admitted than females.

COPD hospital admission ratios, males and females, in each UK region,


2008–12
Age-standardised admission ratio (SAR) with 95% confidence
intervalsMalesFemales050100150North EastNorth WestYorkshire & HumbersideEast
MidlandsWest MidlandsEast of EnglandLondonSouth EastSouth
WestWalesScotlandNorthern IrelandUnited Kingdom
Region Males Females

North East 135 160

North West 121 137

Yorkshire &
114 122
Humberside

East Midlands 93 84

West Midlands 97 88

East of
76 68
England

London 109 90

South East 74 67

South West 72 62

Wales 112 115

Scotland 125 150

Northern
139 129
Ireland

United
100 100
Kingdom

Relative risk of emergency hospital admissions for COPD, by local


authority district (England, Scotland and Wales), 2010

© Copyright info

Relative risk is used in medical research to compare risk in different groups of people. In
the maps we show the risk of an area (local authority district) relative to the average for
Scotland, England and Wales. Here we show whether the group of people living in a
particular area have a risk of emergency admission to hospital from COPD that is lower or
higher than the average. Because of the way relative risk is calculated there must always be
some areas above average and some below average.

You can find out how these figures were calculated.

Standard of living and COPD


Does your standard of living affect your chances of
having COPD in the UK?
Figures for 2004–12 show that the less well off you are, the more likely you are to have
been diagnosed with COPD at some time in your life. These differences are the largest, in
relative terms, for any of the major lung diseases.

Number of people per 100,000 ever diagnosed with COPD, by standard


of living, 2004–12
1 (Least deprived)2345 (Most deprived)Not
known2004200620082010201203507001,0501,4001,7502,1002,4502,8003,1503,500
1 (Least 5 (Most Not
Year 2 3 4
deprived) deprived) known

2004 895 1,194 1,564 2,053 2,582 1,500

2005 949 1,256 1,635 2,119 2,639 1,506

2006 1,001 1,318 1,693 2,160 2,702 1,547

2007 1,063 1,362 1,756 2,213 2,774 1,598

2008 1,107 1,415 1,803 2,280 2,811 1,534

2009 1,140 1,464 1,841 2,318 2,839 1,428

2010 1,171 1,507 1,865 2,349 2,901 1,289

2011 1,220 1,576 1,918 2,404 2,981 1,268

2012 1,266 1,639 1,963 2,476 3,080 1,237


Find out how the standard of living figures were calculated: Methodology - standard of living

Methodology
How were these figures calculated?
Find out how the numbers of people with COPD, deaths and hospital admissions were
calculated: Methodology - numbers, deaths and admissions
https://statistics.blf.org.uk/copd