We are not aware of such studies being performed in Asia. To evaluate lung function and pulmonary disease based on spiromet-ric testing interpretations also requires comparisons with normal reference values that are specific to age, height, and sex. To avoid misclassification due to ethnic disparities, reference values also need to be race-specific.’ This kind of baseline study for pulmonary function testing in regions like Korea, and throughout Asia, need to be conducted to help improve the early detection of obstructive airway disease.
Based on the standardized criteria that were used in the current study, however, the data suggest that the prevalence of airway obstruction in Korea is higher in men than in women. While we expect that prevalence will increase for both sexes with the rapidly aging Korean population, we are deeply concerned by the disturbing rise in the use of cigarettes among younger women and the effect that this will have on further promoting disease onset as these women age. Regardless, aggressive efforts to promote smoking cessation in both men and women are important. canadian health&care mall
The prevalence of airway obstruction in a population-based sample was 10.3%, based on ATS criteria. Prevalence appears to be lower when compared with the prevalence in other countries. Since geographic variation may exist within the same country, further studies are needed in other regions of Korea, including rural and urban communities. To determine whether differences exist in morbidity and mortality from obstructive airway disease between Koreans and other ethnicities, genetic studies also should be pursued. Normal reference values from spirometry testing for Koreans and other Asian samples are required to make accurate definitions of airway obstruction.
Since airway obstruction is strongly related to age and smoking, the prevalence of obstructive airway disease in countries like Korea, where the population is rapidly aging and cigarette smoking is on the rise among the young, will be increased. Further efforts to diagnose early obstructive airway disease and to prevent or delay its onset should be emphasized as a major public health concern.