The prevalence of dyspnea in the adult Polish population
More details
Hide details
Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Education)
Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Allergology and Pulmonology)
Aleksandra Undrunas   

Medical University of Gdańsk, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Education, ul. Dębinki 7, 80-211 Gdańsk, Poland
Online publication date: 2022-09-28
Objectives: Dyspnea is one of the most predominant symptom in clinical practice. There is a lack of data about incidents of dyspnea among Polish adults therefore it would be important to establish prevalence of this symptom before COVID-19 pandemic to assess the impact of this infection on the functioning of the adult Polish population in the future. The aim of the study was to establish prevalence of dyspnea in adult Polish population. Material and Methods: It was an observational-cross-sectional study, with representative sample of adult Poles aged 18–79 years. The 2413 participants were surveyed. Responders were asked if and when dyspnea occurs and what is its severity in relation to one of four categories (A, B, C, and D) describing the impact of dyspnea on reduced exercise tolerance and daily activities. Results: The 67.1% of the respondents answered negatively to all question about experiencing dyspnea (females (F) 61% vs. males (M) 74%, p < 0.05). Dyspnea only during intense physical exertion (A), was reported by 22.8% (F 26.2% vs. M 19.2%, p = 0.07). Dyspnea limiting daily activities (B, C and D) was reported by 10.1% (F 13.1% vs. M 7%, p < 0.05). Significant differences in the severity of dyspnea were found between the age groups. People diagnosed with chronic heart failure or lung diseases significantly more often reported dyspnea than people without these conditions. Conclusions: Every tenth Pole reported dyspnea limiting performing activities of daily living. Additionally, about 20% of Poles experienced dyspnea considered as "gray area," only during intense physical exertion, that requires deepening and clarifying the medical history.