Clinical Characteristics and Medical Utilization of Smokers with Preserved Ratio Impaired Spirometry

Yune Young Shin, Sojung Park, Jin Hwa Lee, Kyung Joo Kim, Chin Kook Rhee, Kwang Ha Yoo, Ki Suck Jung

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Purpose: To investigate the clinical characteristics and medical utilization of smokers with preserved ratio impaired spirometry (PRISm). Patients and Methods: We used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2007 and 2012, linked to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. Clinical characteristics and medical utilization, including inpatient admission, emergency department visit, prescribed medication, and medical cost, were retrospectively compared among three groups: normal spirometry, PRISm, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Results: A total of 7115 smokers were included (4743 normal spirometry, 689 PRISm, and 1683 COPD subjects). The mean age was the highest in the COPD group, followed by the PRISm and normal groups, and the proportion of women was the highest in the PRISm group. The tobacco exposure, socioeconomic status (SES), and schooling level of the PRISm group were at levels between those of the normal and COPD groups. However, the PRISm group had the highest proportion of current smokers, highest body mass index (BMI), and lowest mean FEV1 and FVC % predicted. During the study period, the medical utilization of 92 smokers (13.4%) in the PRISm group and 436 smokers (25.9%) in the COPD group was related to respiratory diseases. Emergency department visit or hospitalization and overall medical cost of the PRISm group were comparable to those of the COPD group, except for outpatient clinic visit. Old age, women, low BMI, low SES, low schooling level, high amount of tobacco exposure, wheezing, and decreased FEV1 and FVC % predicted were factors associated with medical utilization in PRISm. Conclusion: Medical utilization was comparable between the PRISm and COPD groups. Smokers with PRISm who were older, women, or heavy smokers with low BMI, low SES and schooling level, wheezing, or low FEV1 and FVC might need close observation and early treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2187-2194
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of COPD
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Shin et al.


  • emergency department
  • hospitalization
  • lung function
  • restrictive lung disease
  • wheezing


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