PRISA (Pulmonary Risk in South America). Detection and follow-up of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and risk factors in the Southern Cone of South America

Period: 2010-2014

A study designed to determine the prevalence and incidence of COPD and its risk factors  as well as changes in lung function over time in the adult population of four cities of the Southern Cone of LA.


A. Rubinstein, V. Irazola, E. Sobrino, C. Carrara, F. Lanas, H. Olivera, M. Calandrelli, J. Ponzo, J. He.


This research will be the first work ever to establish the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the Southern Cone and will provide information about the risk factors associated to this pathology, which—according to the World Health Organization (WHO)— will become the fourth leading cause of death worldwide in 2030.

This study will create knowledge about the specific regional characteristics of this disease. This scientific evidence will be crucial because, even though several studies on this pathology have been conducted in developing countries, in Latin America there is limited knowledge of the number of people who suffer from COPD. Likewise, there is little information about the characteristics common to individuals suffering from COPD and their associated risk factors.

This 4-year study is being conducted with 6,000 individuals from four Southern Cone cities: Temuco (Chile), Canelones (Uruguay), Bariloche (Argentina), and Marcos Paz (Argentina). Participants were carefully selected so as to obtain a representative sample of Southern Cone populations.

During the first phase, the sample population is subjected to surveys and specific measurements (blood pressure, abdominal girth, and other anthropometric measurements) and blood glucose and lipid levels are measured, among other endpoints. In addition to this, EKGs and spirometries (a pulmonary function test to measure lung capacity and volume) are performed at two-year intervals. This allows identifying changes in adults’ pulmonary function through time.

During the second phase of this study, patients will be followed up annually to establish the association between exposition to risk factors (such as smoking) and cardiovascular and respiratory events (such as infarction and COPD).

Information presented in this study will increase the knowledge of COPD’s epidemiology in the region. This information will also enhance health-related decision-making processes regarding allocation and distribution of resources aimed at preventing and treating this pathology.

This study is funded by the American National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).



Study type

Prospective cohort study

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