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Important Facts for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Prevalence


Estimated percentage of New Jersey adults (ages 18 and over) who have been diagnosed with COPD. In the United States, the term "COPD" includes two main conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Because most people diagnosed with COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the general term "COPD" is often used.


Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who have been told by a doctor, nurse or other health professional that they have COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis.


Number of survey respondents excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure," and "Refused" responses.

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Jersey adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.

Why Is This Important?

COPD is a serious lung disease that makes it hard to breathe and gets worse over time. COPD can cause coughing with or without large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. When COPD is severe, it can cause serious, long-term disability.

How Are We Doing?

In 2020, the adult COPD age-adjusted prevalence in New Jersey was 4.5%. Blacks (4.9%) and Whites (4.6%) have a higher prevalence of COPD compared to Hispanics (3.9%), and Asians (2.5%) in the state.
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 23 April 2024 12:36:42 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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