The understanding of the epidemiology of bronchiectasis is still affected by major limitations with very few data published worldwide. The aim of this study was to estimate the epidemiological burden of bronchiectasis in Italy in the adult population followed-up by primary care physicians.
This study analyzed data coming from a large primary care database with 1,054,376 subjects in the period of time 2002-2015. Patients with bronchiectasis were selected by the use of International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, Clinical Modification codes (ICD-9-CM).
Patients with bronchiectasis were more likely to have a history of tuberculosis (0.47% vs. 0.06%, p < 0.0001), had higher rates of asthma (16.6% vs. 6.2%, p < 0.0001), COPD (23.3% vs. 6.4%, p < 0.0001) and rheumatoid arthritis (1.9% vs. 0.8%, p < 0.0001). The prevalence and incidence of bronchiectasis in primary care in Italy in 2015 were 163 per 100,000 population and 16.3 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Prevalence and incidence increased with age and overall rates were highest in men over 75 years old. Prevalence and incidence computed after the exclusion of patients with a diagnosis of either asthma or COPD is 130 per 100,000 and 11.1 cases per 100,000 person-years, respectively.
Bronchiectasis is not a rare condition in Italian adult population. Further studies are needed to confirm our results and provide a better insight on etiology of bronchiectasis in Italy.
not applicable.