The emergence of chronic bronchitis as an important disease entity prompted this study of the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms in 40- to 59-year-old men in the Jersey City Housing Units.
Previously reported epidemiologic studies of chronic bronchitis in the United Kingdom1-7 provided the basis for our attempt to measure the prevalence of this condition in Jersey City. The World Health Organization has approved a definition of chronic bronchitis as "chronic bronchial inflammation with hypersecretion of mucus."8 Clinically it is recognized as a productive cough, not attributable to localized disease of the upper respiratory tract, bronchi, or lung parenchyma.9 An epidemiologic definition of chronic productive cough is "persistent cough and sputum present most days for at least three months each year," based upon the results of a standard questionnaire.10Morbidity statistics and absentee records fully document the importance of chronic bronchitis in Great Britain: In
GOCKE TM, DUFFY BJ. Epidemiology of Chronic Bronchitis in Jersey City. Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(5):606–614. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620230052009
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