A region known as the East South Central U.S. Census division — encompassing Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky — is home to the highest adult prevalence rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the country.

At 7.5% from 2007 to 2009, COPD was twice as prevalent in the East South Central division as in the Pacific division (comprising California, Oregon, and Washington), which had the lowest COPD prevalence at 3.9%.

Overall, however, the prevalence of COPD — which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema — has remained stable nationwide over a12-year period, according to the CDC report. A total of 5.1% (11.8 million) adults aged 18 and older were diagnosed with the disease from 2007 to 2009, a rate that had been maintained since 1998.

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COPD prevalence was greater among women than men in all age groups except for the two oldest — 75 to 84 years, and 85 years and older —  and was highest for women aged 65 to 74 years (10.4%), women aged 75 to 84 years (9.7%) and men aged 75 to 84 years (11.2%).