Review – Open Access
Respiratory Research volume 20, Article number: 229 (2019)
Asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) is a term that encompasses patients with features of both asthma and COPD. To date, the global prevalence of ACO in the general population remains unknown. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of ACO in the general population using a systematic review and meta-analysis.
A systematic search of ISI Web of Knowledge, MEDLINE/PubMed, and Scopus was performed up to May 2019 to identify studies reporting the prevalence of ACO. Reference lists from identified studies and relevant review articles were also searched. Eligibility criteria were studies reporting the prevalence of ACO, performed in general population, and published in English language. Pooled prevalence of ACO with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using random effects Meta-analysis.
A total of 27 studies were included in this meta-analysis. The Cochran Q test and I2 statistics revealed substantial heterogeneity among studies. Based on the random-effects model, the pooled prevalence of ACO was 2.0% (95% CI: 1.4–2.6%) in the general population, 26.5% (95% CI: 19.5–33.6%) among patients with asthma, and 29.6% (95% CI: 19.3–39.9%) among patients with COPD. In addition, for included studies, the global prevalence of asthma-only was 6.2% (95% CI: 5.0–7.4%) and COPD-only was 4.9% (95% CI: 4.3–5.5%).
We estimated the global prevalence of ACO based on population-based studies and found that 2.0% of the general population is affected. However, the prevalence of ACO depends on its diagnostic criteria. Therefore, there is a vital need to better define the ACO diagnostic criteria, management and treatment. It is worth noting that the limitations of the present study include lack of studies in some region of the world and small number of studies included in the subgroup analyses.