Respiratory acidosis epidemiology and demographics

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Overview

Respiratory acidosis is an acid-base balance disturbance because of alveolar hypoventilation. Production of carbon dioxide takes place rapidly and failure of air flow directly increases the partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2). The regular reference range for PaCO2 is 35-45 mm Hg.

Epidemiology and Demographics

Prevalence

  • The prevalence of respiratory acidosis in patients with acute COPD is approximately  75 (95% CI 61 to 90) per 100 000/year for men aged 45-79 and 57 (95% CI 46 to 69) per 100 000 for women.[1]

Age

  • The incidence of respiratory acidosis increases with age because the range for a normal gradient increases with age.
  • The gradient can be estimated with the help of equation A-a gradient = age x 0.3.

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References

  1. Plant PK, Owen JL, Elliott MW (July 2000). "One year period prevalence study of respiratory acidosis in acute exacerbations of COPD: implications for the provision of non-invasive ventilation and oxygen administration". Thorax. 55 (7): 550–4. PMC 1745812. PMID 10856313.

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