Chronic respiratory diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide, and the majority of morbidity and mortality related to chronic respiratory disease occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Urbanization is increasing rapidly among these countries, and the fastest rate of urbanization is occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. The LiNK study is a longitudinal cohort aimed at assessing the role of urbanization in lung function decline in Uganda. The primary aim of the study was to examine the differences in prevalence of CRDs and attributable risk factors in urban and rural Uganda.The initial enrollment occurred in 2015 and consisted of randomly selected population-based sample of 1,543 located in the urban capital of Uganda, Kampala, and a rural district, Nakaseke. All participants had anthropometric measurements taken and demographic questionnaires including biomass fuel smoke exposure, HIV status, and history of post-treatment pulmonary tuberculosis applied. Spirometry was conducted using the Easy-On-PC spirometer (ndd, Zurich, Switzerland) on all participants. The LiNK Study investigators aim to conduct follow up at 3 years and 5 years as part of longitudinal analysis of risk factors for lung function decline in this setting.
The LiNK Cohort Study represents a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Makerere Lung Insitutute in Uganda. The study was funded through the Fogarty International Center and COPD Foundation.