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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Canada Published: ()

COPD is a chronic disease that is characterised by shortness of breath, cough and sputum production. The disease is progressive (i.e. it tends to get worse over time) and debilitating. It primarily affects the population age 35 years and older. Long-term exposure to lung irritants is the primary cause of COPD. In Canada and other developed nations, the primary irritant that causes COPD is tobacco smoke.

Individuals living with COPD often find that the disease limits their mobility and impacts their ability to engage in activities of daily living.

Although there is currently no cure for COPD, its symptoms can be managed with medications, other therapies and lifestyle changes. Early detection through lung function testing is key to managing COPD and slowing its progression.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) works with the provinces and territories, through the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS), to collect and report national surveillance data on COPD.

PHAC recently released the publication, Report from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Canada, 2018, that describes the burden of chronic respiratory diseases in Canada in more detail.

2 million

Over 2 million (10%) Canadians aged 35 years and older were living with diagnosed COPD in 2012─2013. [PHAC CCDSS]

82%

The number of Canadians aged 35 years and older living with diagnosed COPD increased by 82% ─ from 1.1 million to a little over 2 million ─ between 2000─2001 and 2012─2013. [PHAC CCDSS]

The increase in the number of Canadians living with COPD is being driven by the aging of the population.

Would you like to see how the proportion of Canadians (35+) living with diagnosed COPD changed over the years? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.


1 in 116

Out of every 116 Canadians aged 35 years and older, 1 was newly diagnosed with COPD in 2012─2013. In 2000─2001, this estimate was 1 in 93. [PHAC CCDSS]

Aging and COPD

The likelihood of having COPD increases with age. In 2012─2013, 15% of seniors between the ages of 65 and 69 were living with COPD; for seniors aged 85 years and older, 26% were living with COPD.

In younger age groups, women and men are about equally likely to have COPD, while in older age groups, men are more likely to be affected. This may be due to smoking being more common among men than women. [PHAC CCDSS]

Would you like to explore COPD statistics by age-group and sex? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.


Men vs. Women

Men are more likely than women to have COPD. However, the gap between men and women with COPD has gradually narrowed over the years. [PHAC CCDSS]

Would you like to see how the proportion of men and women living with diagnosed COPD changed over the years? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.


Geographic Differences

The proportion of Canadians living with COPD varies geographically. In 2012─2013, the provincial and territorial proportions ranged from 7% to 23%. [PHAC CCDSS]

Would you like to see how the provinces and territories compare? Check out the ‘Dive into the Data’ section below.


Dive into the Data

Age-standardized prevalence (%) of COPD among Canadians aged 35 years and older, by sex, 2000-2001 to 2012-2013

Table 1: Age-standardized prevalence (%) of COPD among Canadians aged 35 years and older, by sex, 2000-2001 to 2012-2013
Fiscal Year Female Male Total
Prevalence (%) 95% CI (lower limit) 95% CI (upper limit) Prevalence (%) 95% CI (lower limit) 95% CI (upper limit) Prevalence (%) 95% CI (lower limit) 95% CI (upper limit)
2000-2001 6.46.36.48.18.18.17.17.07.1
2001-2002 6.86.86.88.48.48.57.57.47.5
2002-2003 7.17.17.18.78.78.77.77.77.8
2003-2004 7.47.47.48.98.98.98.08.08.0
2004-2005 7.77.77.79.09.09.18.28.28.2
2005-2006 7.97.97.99.29.29.28.48.48.4
2006-2007 8.18.18.19.39.39.38.68.68.6
2007-2008 8.38.38.39.49.49.48.88.78.8
2008-2009 8.58.58.59.69.59.69.08.99.0
2009-2010 8.88.78.89.79.79.79.19.19.2
2010-2011 9.08.99.09.99.89.99.39.39.3
2011-2012 9.19.19.19.99.910.09.49.49.4
2012-2013 9.29.29.210.010.010.09.59.59.5

Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories.
Notes: Data from Yukon were not available. Estimates are age-standardized to 2011 Canadian population. The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values that is likely to include the true prevalence 19 times out of 20.


Prevalence (%) of COPD among Canadians aged 35 years and older, by sex and age-group, 2012-2013

Table 2: Prevalence (%) of COPD among Canadians aged 35 years and older, by sex and age-group, 2012-2013
Age Group Female Male Total
Prevalence (%) 95% CI (lower limit) 95% CI (upper limit) Prevalence (%) 95% CI (lower limit) 95% CI (upper limit) Prevalence (%) 95% CI (lower limit) 95% CI (upper limit)
35-39 0.90.90.90.90.91.00.90.90.9
40-44 2.52.52.52.52.42.52.52.52.5
45-49 4.84.84.84.44.44.54.64.64.6
50-54 7.47.47.56.96.97.07.27.17.2
55-59 9.49.39.49.39.29.39.39.39.4
60-64 11.511.411.511.911.912.011.711.711.8
65-69 14.414.414.515.415.315.514.914.915.0
70-74 17.517.417.619.719.619.818.518.518.6
75-79 20.019.920.224.224.024.321.921.922.0
80-84 22.222.022.328.428.228.624.824.725.0
85+ 23.623.423.731.531.331.726.326.226.4

Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories.
Notes: Data from Yukon were not available. The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values that is likely to include the true prevalence 19 times out of 20.


Use the map below to discover the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) estimates in Canada's provinces and territories. Navigate the map using the Next and Previous buttons or with Tab or Hover. Once a province is selected, Zoom using Click (when hovering) or Spacebar (when tabbing).

Prevalence Estimates of COPD in Canadian (2012)

2000 2012

Legend (Prevalence, %)






Description

The age-standardized prevalence of COPD among men and women in in was . The national prevalence was 9.5%.

This map was created using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories (November 2017).


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