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The burden of chronic respiratory diseases in adults in Nepal: A systematic review

Ekezie, Winifred; Jenkins, Alex Robert; Hall, Ian Philip; Evans, Catrin; Koju, Rajendra; Kurmi, Om Prakash; Bolton, Charlotte Emma

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Winifred Ekezie

Alex Robert Jenkins

Professor of Molecular Medicine

Professor of Evidence Based Healthcare

Rajendra Koju

Om Prakash Kurmi


While chronic lung disease causes substantial global morbidity and mortality, global estimates have primarily been based on broad assumptions. Specific country data from low-income countries such as Nepal are limited. This review assessed primary evidence on chronic respiratory disease burden among adults in Nepal. A systematic search was performed in June 2019 (updated May 2020) for studies through nine databases. High levels of heterogeneity deemed a narrative synthesis appropriate. Among 27 eligible studies identified, most were low-moderate quality with cross-sectional and retrospective study design. Chronic lung diseases identified were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchiectasis and restrictive lung diseases. Studies were categorised as: (i) community-based, (ii) hospital-based and (iii) comorbidity-related and disease burden. Reported disease prevalence varied widely (COPD, 1.67–14.3%; asthma, 4.2–8.9%). The prevalence of airflow obstruction was higher among rural dwellers (15.8%) and those exposed to household air pollution from domestic biomass burning as opposed to liquid petroleum gas users (Odds Ratio: 2.06). Several comorbidities, including hypertension and diabetes mellitus added to the disease burden. The review shows limited literature on lung disease burden in Nepal. Publications varied in terms of overall quality. Good quality research studies with prospective cohorts related to respiratory conditions are required.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 23, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 6, 2021
Publication Date Jan 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 7, 2021
Journal Chronic Respiratory Disease
Print ISSN 1479-9723
Electronic ISSN 1479-9731
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Pages 1-20
Keywords Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
Public URL
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