Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Simoni M., Carrozzi L., Baldacci S., Borbotti M., Pistelli F., Di Pede F., Maio S., Angino A., Viegi G. Respiratory symptoms/diseases, impaired lung function, and drug use in two Italian general population samples. In: Respiratory Medicine, vol. 102 pp. 82 - 91. Elsevier, 2008.
Summary Background: Research and practice indicate that a sizeable amount of prescribed drugs is never used. Aim: To assess the habitual up-take of medicines in subjects with respiratory symptoms/diseases or impaired lung function in general population samples. Methods: Data regard 4010 subjects (8-88 years) from the rural area of Po River Delta(North Italy) and the urban area of Pisa (North-Central Italy). Analyses concern the habitual use of any or specific medicines (broncho-pulmonary, anti-allergic, cardiovascular,diuretic) in subjects with asthma, chronic bronchitis/emphysema (COPD), COPD or chronic cough/phlegm (COPDsx), and airways obstruction (AO, FEV1/FVCo70%). Results: Asthma, COPD, COPDsx, and AO were present in 6%, 5%, 21%, and 13% of cases, respectively. Only 37% and 21% of subjects with respiratory symptoms/diseases used any or specific medicines, respectively. The subjects with COPD exhibited the highest prevalence of assumption (59% for any drug, 38% for specific medicines), followed by asthmatics (42% and 30%), and subjects with AO (40% and 25%). After accounting for sex, age,residence area, smoking habit, education, and presence of comorbidity, the conditions significantly related to any medicine up-take were COPD (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.08-2.53) and asthma (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.01-2.12). Only asthma resulted significantly associated with the use of specific drugs (OR 3.11, 95% CI 1.94-4.97). Drug use was higher in the urban than in the rural area.
Subject Epidemiological study
Respiratory disorders
General population

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