Open Access Study protocol

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

Adolfo L Rubinstein1*, Vilma E Irazola1, Lydia A Bazzano2, Edgardo Sobrino1, Matías Calandrelli3, Fernando Lanas4, Alison G Lee5, Jose A Manfredi6, Héctor Olivera7, Jacqueline Ponzo8, Pamela Seron4 and Jiang He2

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Excelencia en Salud Cardiovascular para el Cono Sur, Instituto de Efectividad Clínica y Sanitaria, (Emilio Ravignani 2024), Buenos Aires, (C1414CPV), Argentina

2 Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, (1440 Canal Street), New Orleans (70112), USA

3 Department of Cardiology, Sanatorio San Carlos, (Mitre 124), San Carlos de Bariloche, (8400) Argentina

4 Universidad de La Frontera, (Avenida Francisco Salazar 01145), Temuco, Chile

5 Fogarty Fellow, Centro de Excelencia en Salud Cardiovascular para el Cono Sur, Instituto de Efectividad Clínica y Sanitaria, (Emilio Ravignani 2024), Buenos Aires, (C1414CPV), Argentina

6 Department of Cardiology, Universidad de la República, Canelones, (90000), Uruguay

7 Secretaría de Salud, Municipalidad de Marcos Paz, Marcos Paz, (1727), Argentina

8 Department of Family Medicine, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, (11000), Uruguay

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2011, 11:34  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-11-34

Published: 1 June 2011



The World Health Organization has estimated that by 2030, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will be the third leading cause of death worldwide. Most knowledge of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is based on studies performed in Europe or North America and little is known about the prevalence, patient characteristics and change in lung function over time in patients in developing countries, such as those of Latin America. This lack of knowledge is in sharp contrast to the high levels of tobacco consumption and exposure to biomass fuels exhibited in Latin America, both major risk factors for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Studies have also demonstrated that most Latin American physicians frequently do not follow international chronic obstructive pulmonary disease diagnostic and treatment guidelines. The PRISA Study will expand the current knowledge regarding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and risk factors in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to inform policy makers and health professionals on the best policies and practices to address this condition.


PRISA is an observational, prospective cohort study with at least four years of follow-up. In the first year, PRISA has employed a randomized three-staged stratified cluster sampling strategy to identify 6,000 subjects from Marcos Paz and Bariloche, Argentina, Temuco, Chile, and Canelones, Uruguay. Information, such as comorbidities, socioeconomic status and tobacco and biomass exposure, will be collected and spirometry, anthropometric measurements, blood sampling and electrocardiogram will be performed. In year four, subjects will have repeat measurements taken.


There is no longitudinal data on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease incidence and risk factors in the southern cone of Latin America, therefore this population-based prospective cohort study will fill knowledge gaps in the prevalence and incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, patient characteristics and changes in lung function over time as well as quality of life and health care resource utilization. Information gathered during the PRISA Study will inform public health interventions and prevention practices to reduce risk of COPD in the region.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Risk Factors; South America; Cohort