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Original research
Association of birthplace and occupational exposures with chronic bronchitis in US Hispanics/Latinos, 2008–2011


Objectives In the US, chronic bronchitis (CB) is common and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Data on CB in the Hispanic/Latino population—a large, diverse US minority—are scarce. We aimed to test whether the prevalence of CB varies across Hispanic/Latino heritages and to identify CB risk factors, including occupational exposures, in this population.

Methods We analysed data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, a US population-based probability sample of participants aged 18–74 years (n=16 415) including those with Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Central American and South American heritages. Participants who had a completed respiratory questionnaire and valid spirometric data were included in the analysis (n=13 259). CB, place of birth, heritage, occupational exposures and other risk factors were based on standardised questionnaires. The prevalence of CB was estimated using survey logistic regression-conditional marginal analysis.

Results The estimated (mean (95% CI)) overall adjusted prevalence of CB was 12.1% (9.3 to 15.6), with a large variation across heritages. Dominican heritage had a fivefold higher prevalence than South American heritage. US-born participants had a higher adjusted prevalence than their non-US-born counterparts (16.8% (12.5 to 22.1) vs 11.0% (8.5 to 14.10); p=0.022). Compared with non-exposed participants, those exposed to cleaning or disinfecting solutions had a higher adjusted prevalence of CB (12.6% (9.1 to 17.1) vs 11.8% (9.2 to 15.1); p=0.024).

Conclusions The prevalence of CB was higher among Dominicans than other Hispanic/Latino heritages. CB was more prevalent among US-born participants and those exposed to cleaning and disinfecting solutions.

  • bronchitis
  • epidemiology
  • respiratory

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