To determine the efficacy and usefulness of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care bundle designed for the initial management of acute exacerbations of COPD and to assess whether it improves quality of care and provides better outcomes.
The level of care provided in the emergency department (ED) for COPD exacerbations varies greatly, and there is a need for a more systematic, consistent, evidence-based quality improvement approach to improve outcomes and costs.
A prospective before and after study was carried out in a university teaching hospital. Fifty consecutive patients were identified in the ED with COPD exacerbations and their management was reviewed. Following the education of ED staff and the implementation of a COPD care bundle, the outcome for 51 consecutive patients was analyzed. This COPD care bundle consisted of ten elements considered essential to the management of COPD exacerbations and was scored 0–10 according to the number of items on the checklist implemented correctly.
Following implementation, the mean bundle score out of 10 improved from 4.6 to 7 (P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in the unnecessary use of intravenous corticosteroids from 60% to 32% (P=0.003) and also a marked improvement in the use of oxygen therapy, with appropriate treatment increasing from 76% to 96% (P=0.003). Prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism also improved from 54% to 73% (P=0.054). The 30-day readmission rate did not significantly improve.
The use of a bundle improves the delivery of care for COPD exacerbations in the ED. There is more appropriate use of therapeutic interventions, especially oxygen therapy and intravenous corticosteroids.
COPD; checklist; bundle; exacerbations; steroids
Sleep quality is often poor in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A cross-sectional European survey investigated the prevalence of night-time symptoms in COPD to evaluate the level of disconnect between physician and patient perceptions of the presence of night-time symptoms, and to compare the characteristics of patients with and without night-time symptoms.
A total of 251 primary care physicians and 251 respiratory specialists completed record forms on 2,807 patients with COPD. The forms captured information on patient demographics, lung function, COPD severity, and symptoms. Patients completed questionnaires on the time of day when their COPD symptoms bothered them, and the impact of COPD on their ability to get up in the morning and on sleep. Data were compared between groups (those with and without night-time symptoms) using t-tests or Wilcoxon signed rank tests. The kappa statistic was used to assess the level of disconnect between physician and patient perceptions of the impact of night-time symptoms.
Most patients (78%) reported night-time disturbance. Patients with night-time symptoms experienced more daytime breathlessness (mean modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale score 2.4 versus 1.1) and exacerbations in the previous 12 months (mean 1.7 versus 0.4), and received more maintenance therapy (mean of 2.8 versus 2.3 products) than those without. Concordance between the frequency of physician-reported (67.9% of patients) and patient-reported (68.5% of patients) night-time symptoms was good. Physicians significantly underestimated the impact of COPD on the patient’s ability to get up in the morning and on sleep (fair–moderate agreement). Physician-reported night-time symptoms were present for 41.2% of patients who could be categorized by Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) group (n=937), increasing from 20.9% of those in the low-risk group to 77.4% of those in the high-riskgroup.
Patients with COPD experience night-time symptoms regardless of GOLD group, that impact on their ability to get up in the morning and on their sleep quality.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; night-time symptoms; sleep quality; burden
The electrocardiographic diagnostic dyad of emphysema, namely a combination of the frontal vertical P-vector and a narrow QRS duration, can serve as a quasidiagnostic marker for emphysema, with specificity close to 100%. We postulated that the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy in emphysema may affect the sensitivity of this electrocardiographic criterion given that left ventricular hypertrophy generates prominent left ventricular forces and may increase the QRS duration.
We reviewed the electrocardiograms and echocardiograms for 73 patients with emphysema. The patients were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of echocardiographic evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy. The P-vector, QRS duration, and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) were computed and compared between the two subgroups.
There was no statistically significant difference in qualitative lung function (FEV1) between the subgroups. There was no statistically significant difference in mean P-vector between the subgroups. The mean QRS duration was significantly longer in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy as compared with those without left ventricular hypertrophy.
The presence of left ventricular hypertrophy may not affect the sensitivity of the P-vector verticalization when used as a lone criterion for diagnosing emphysema. However, the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy may significantly reduce the sensitivity of the electrocardiographic diagnostic dyad in emphysema, as it causes a widening of the QRS duration.
emphysema; electrocardiogram; left ventricular hypertrophy; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; P-vector; QRS duration
The use of domiciliary noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure has yielded variable effects on survival, quality of life, and dyspnea. We hypothesized that use of NPPV in stable COPD and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) <52 mmHg might result in improvement in quality of life and dyspnea.
Thirty patients with stable COPD (forced expiratory volume in the first second <50% predicted and PaCO2 <52 mmHg) were prospectively randomized to receive domiciliary NPPV (bilevel positive airway pressure, 15/5 cm H2O) or usual therapy for 6 months. Measurements were made at baseline, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Primary outcomes were quality of life as assessed by the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ), and dyspnea as measured by the Transitional Dyspnea Index (TDI).
Fifteen subjects in the NPPV arm and 12 controls completed all the study visits. At 6 weeks and 3 months, the NPPV arm showed significant improvement in TDI total score. However, this effect persisted only in the TDI-Task at 6 months (P=0.03). NPPV use was associated with a small improvement in the CRQ-Mastery domain (0.6 versus −0.1, P=0.04). The arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) in the control arm worsened over the period of the study, whereas it remained stable in the NPPV arm (change −7.2 mmHg versus +2.1 mmHg, respectively, P=0.02).
NPPV resulted in a small improvement in quality of life indices in stable COPD patients with PaCO2 <52 mmHg. Future larger studies will clarify the role of NPPV in this stable subgroup of patients with COPD.
noninvasive; ventilation; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; normocapnia
Previous studies have demonstrated the potential beneficial effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the required dose and responder phenotype remain unclear. The current study investigated the effect of high-dose NAC on airway geometry, inflammation, and oxidative stress in COPD patients. Novel functional respiratory imaging methods combining multislice computed tomography images and computer-based flow simulations were used with high sensitivity for detecting changes induced by the therapy.
Twelve patients with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage II COPD were randomized to receive NAC 1800 mg or placebo daily for 3 months and were then crossed over to the alternative treatment for a further 3 months.
Significant correlations were found between image-based resistance values and glutathione levels after treatment with NAC (P = 0.011) and glutathione peroxidase at baseline (P = 0.036). Image-based resistance values appeared to be a good predictor for glutathione peroxidase levels after NAC (P = 0.02), changes in glutathione peroxidase levels (P = 0.035), and reduction in lobar functional residual capacity levels (P = 0.00084). In the limited set of responders to NAC therapy, the changes in airway resistance were in the same order as changes induced by budesonide/formoterol.
A combination of glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, and imaging parameters could potentially be used to phenotype COPD patients who would benefit from addition of NAC to their current therapy. The findings of this small pilot study need to be confirmed in a larger pivotal trial.
functional respiratory imaging; computational fluid dynamics; computed tomography; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; N-acetylcysteine
Patients with high grade chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) account for much of the COPD-related mortality and incur excessive financial burdens and medical care utilization. We aimed to determine the characteristics and medical care use of such patients using nationwide data from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service in 2009.
Materials and methods
Patients with COPD were identified by searching with the International Classification of Diseases–10th Revision for those using medication. Patients with high grade COPD were selected based on their patterns of tertiary institute visits and medication use.
The numbers of patients with high grade COPD increased rapidly in Korea during the study period, and they showed a high prevalence of comorbid disease. The total medical costs were over three times higher in patients with high grade COPD compared with those without it ($3,744 versus $1,183; P < 0.001). Medication costs comprised the largest portion of medical cost, but most impact came from hospitalization and exacerbation in both groups of patients. COPD grade and hospitalization in the previous year were the major factors affecting medical costs and days of utilizing health care resources.
Patients with high grade COPD impose a high economic burden on the health care system in Korea. Prevention of progression to high grade COPD is important, both clinically and economically.
COPD; population characteristics; health care utilization; medical cost
Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of
hospitalizations and readmissions in the US. Reducing the frequency of hospital readmission is a
high priority of US health care organizations and government agencies. This study evaluated the risk
factors associated with readmissions among commercially insured adults aged 40–65 years in
the US who were hospitalized for COPD.
This retrospective cohort study used anonymized claims data from the Truven Health
MarketScan® Commercial Claims and Encounters database. The patients included were aged
40–65 years, had an index hospitalization with a primary diagnosis of COPD between July 1,
2008 and June 30, 2010 (continuously enrolled 12 months before and after), and were alive at
hospital discharge. Patients with cystic fibrosis or tuberculosis or who were transferred to another
inpatient facility after hospital discharge were excluded. All readmissions regardless of diagnosis,
and separately a subset of all readmissions that had COPD as a primary or secondary diagnosis
(COPD-related), were examined. Univariate descriptive statistics and multivariable regression
methods were used.
Of the 18,568 patients with index COPD hospitalizations, 6,095 (32.83%) met the eligibility
criteria. Of those, 503 (8.25%) were readmitted within the first 30 days post-index hospitalization
and 2,527 (41.46%) within the first year (COPD-related 340 [5.58%] and 1,681
[27.58%], respectively). The median time to the first readmission post initial
discharge was 4.0 months, with a mean of 5.0 ± 3.4 months. Multivariable regression analyses
showed that comorbid conditions and health care utilization in the pre-index period were significant
predictors for readmission both 30 and 90 days following index hospitalization.
A relatively high readmission rate was observed for patients aged 40–65 years. The
results suggest that attention to patient comorbidities and pre-index/index health care service
utilization may help identify hospitalized COPD patients at higher risk for readmission.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; hospitalization; rehospitalization; readmission; noninterventional study; claims data; real-world data
While cross-national studies have documented rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) misdiagnosis among patients in primary care, US studies are scarce. Studies investigating
diagnosis among uninsured patients are lacking.
The purpose of this study is to identify patients who are over diagnosed and thus, mistreated,
for COPD in a federally qualified health center.
A descriptive study was conducted for a retrospective cohort from February 2011 to June 2012.
Spirometry was performed by trained personnel following American Thoracic Society recommendations.
Patients were referred for spirometry to confirm previous COPD diagnosis or to assess uncontrolled
COPD symptoms. Airway obstruction was defined as a forced expiratory volume in the first second of
expiration (FEV1) to forced vital capacity ratio less than 0.7. Reversibility was defined
as a postbronchodilator increase in FEV1 greater than 200 mL and greater than 12%.
Eighty patients treated for a previous diagnosis of COPD (n = 72) or on anticholinergic inhalers
(n = 8) with no COPD diagnosis were evaluated. The average age was 52.9 years; 71% were uninsured.
Only 17.5% (14/80) of patients reported previous spirometry. Spirometry revealed that 42.5% had no
obstruction, 22.5% had reversible obstruction, and 35% had non-reversible obstruction.
Symptoms and smoking history are insufficient to diagnose COPD. Prevalence of COPD over diagnosis
among uninsured patient populations may be higher than previously reported. Confirming previous COPD
diagnosis with spirometry is essential to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; COPD; misdiagnosis; over diagnosis; spirometry; uninsured; underserved
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a multidisciplinary program of care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the goal of improving the functional capacity and quality of life, as well as maintaining the clinical stability of COPD sufferers. However, not all patients are available for such a program despite discomfort with their condition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a home-based PR (HBPR) program on functional ability, quality of life, and respiratory muscle strength and endurance.
Patients and methods
Patients with COPD according to the Global Initiative of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease were randomized (double-blind) into two groups. One group performed a protocol at home with aerobic and muscle strength exercises and was called the intervention group; the other group received only instructions to perform breathing and stretching exercises, characterizing it as the control group (CG). We assessed the following variables at baseline and 2 months: exercise tolerance (incremental shuttle walk test and upper limb test), respiratory muscle (strength and endurance test), and health-related quality of life (Airways Questionnaire 20).
There were no significant changes after the intervention in either of the two groups in exercise tolerance and quality of life. However, the intervention group had improved respiratory endurance compared with the CG, while the CG presented a decrease in the load sustained by the respiratory muscles after the HBPR.
A program of HBPR with biweekly supervision (although not enough to provide significant improvements in physical capacity or quality of life) played an important role in maintaining the stability of the clinical features of patients with COPD; the patients had no worsening of symptoms during the intervention period according to the daily log.
home-based pulmonary rehabilitation; COPD; shuttle walk test
The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the airway lumen and parenchyma in relation to lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared with controls.
We studied 70 patients with COPD and 15 normal subjects. Using reconstructed computed tomography (CT) images, we traced the bronchial trees and reconstructed 3 cm circle images around the airways exactly perpendicular to the airway axis at the peripheral, middle, and central zones of the bronchi. We measured the number of airways and vessels, the airway inner diameter, and the area of emphysema in the circles, and analyzed the relationship of these image parameters to lung function.
Reduced airway numbers and increased upper lobe emphysema were observed even in early spirometric stages in patients with COPD compared with controls. Other findings included decreased airway inner diameter in advanced spirometric stages. The numbers of peripheral zone bronchi, the extent of the middle zone emphysematous area, and the mean airway inner diameter of the airways were the best predictors of spirometric parameters. A portion of the airways in patients with COPD showed a loss of airway patency at middle or central zone bronchi predominantly in the late spirometric stages. Lumen-obliterated bronchial trees could be traced into emphysematous areas showing air trapping.
Compared with controls, our CT observations in patients with COPD showed that airway lumen and lung parenchyma changes along airways differed by spirometric stage, and these changes were associated with decreased lung function. A portion of CT-identified emphysema in patients with COPD appeared to be due to lumen-obliterated airways in the bronchial tree.
airway dimension; computed tomography; emphysema; pulmonary functions
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex condition defined by progressive airflow limitation in response to noxious stimuli, inflammation, and vascular changes. COPD exacerbations are critical events in the natural history of the disease, accounting for the majority of disease burden, cost, and mortality. Pulmonary vascular disease is an important risk factor for disease progression and exacerbation risk. Relative pulmonary artery enlargement on computed tomography scan, defined by a pulmonary artery to aortic (PA:A) ratio >1, has been evaluated as a marker of pulmonary vascular disease. The PA:A ratio can be measured reliably independent of electrocardiographic gating or the use of contrast, and in healthy patients a PA:A ratio >0.9 is considered to be abnormal. The PA:A ratio has been compared with invasive hemodynamic parameters, primarily mean pulmonary artery pressure in various disease conditions and is more strongly correlated with mean pulmonary artery pressure in obstructive as compared with interstitial lung disease. In patients without known cardiac or pulmonary disease, the PA:A ratio is predictive of mortality, while in COPD, an elevated PA:A ratio is correlated with increased exacerbation risk, outperforming other well established predictors of these events. Future studies should be aimed at determining the stability of the metric over time and evaluating the utility of the PA:A ratio in guiding specific therapies.
pulmonary artery enlargement; aorta; ratio; pulmonary hypertension; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; computed tomography
The BEACON study evaluated the efficacy and safety of QVA149, a once-daily dual bronchodilator containing a fixed-dose combination of the long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) indacaterol and long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) glycopyrronium (NVA237), in development for the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), compared with the free-dose concurrent administration of indacaterol plus glycopyrronium (IND+GLY).
In this multicenter, double-blind, parallel group study, patients with stage II or stage III COPD (Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD] 2010) were randomized (1:1) to once-daily QVA149 (110 μg indacaterol/50 μg glycopyrronium) or concurrent administration of indacaterol (150 μg) and glycopyrronium (50 μg) via the Breezhaler® device (Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland) for 4 weeks. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the noninferiority of QVA149 as compared with concurrent administration of IND+GLY, for trough forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after 4 weeks of treatment. The other assessments included FEV1 area under the curve from 0 to 4 hours (AUC0–4 hours) at day 1 and week 4, symptom scores, rescue medication use, safety, and tolerability over the 4-week study period.
Of 193 patients randomized, 187 (96.9%) completed the study. Trough FEV1 at week 4 for QVA149 and IND+GLY was 1.46 L ± 0.02 and 1.46 L ± 0.18, respectively. The FEV1 AUC0–4 hours at day 1 and week 4 were similar between the two treatment groups. Both treatment groups had a similar reduction in symptom scores and rescue medication use for the 4-week treatment period. Overall, 25.6% of patients in QVA149 group and 25.2% in the IND+GLY group experienced an adverse event, with the majority being mild-to-moderate in severity. No deaths were reported during the study or during the 30 days follow-up period.
The BEACON study demonstrated that once-daily QVA149 provides an efficacy and safety profile similar to the concurrent administration of its monocomponents indacaterol and glycopyrronium.
COPD; LABA; LAMA; FEV1 AUC0–4 hours; rescue medication
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) present with a variety of symptoms that significantly impair health-related quality of life. Despite this, COPD treatment and its management are mainly based on lung function assessments. There is increasing evidence that conventional lung function measures alone do not correlate well with COPD symptoms and their associated impact on patients’ everyday lives. Instead, symptoms should be assessed routinely, preferably by using patient-centered questionnaires that provide a more accurate guide to the actual burden of COPD. Numerous questionnaires have been developed in an attempt to find a simple and reliable tool to use in everyday clinical practice. In this paper, we review three such patient-reported questionnaires recommended by the latest Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines, ie, the modified Medical Research Council questionnaire, the clinical COPD questionnaire, and the COPD Assessment Test, as well as other symptom-specific questionnaires that are currently being developed.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; symptoms; questionnaires
Prediction models for exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are scarce. Our aim was to develop and validate a new model to predict exacerbations in patients with COPD.
Patients and methods
The derivation cohort consisted of patients aged 65 years or over, with a COPD diagnosis, who were followed up over 24 months. The external validation cohort consisted of another cohort of COPD patients, aged 50 years or over. Exacerbations of COPD were defined as symptomatic deterioration requiring pulsed oral steroid use or hospitalization. Logistic regression analysis including backward selection and shrinkage were used to develop the final model and to adjust for overfitting. The adjusted regression coefficients were applied in the validation cohort to assess calibration of the predictions and calculate changes in discrimination applying C-statistics.
The derivation and validation cohort consisted of 240 and 793 patients with COPD, of whom 29% and 28%, respectively, experienced an exacerbation during follow-up. The final model included four easily assessable variables: exacerbations in the previous year, pack years of smoking, level of obstruction, and history of vascular disease, with a C-statistic of 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.69–0.82). Predictions were well calibrated in the validation cohort, with a small loss in discrimination potential (C-statistic 0.66 [95% CI 0.61–0.71]).
Our newly developed prediction model can help clinicians to predict the risk of future exacerbations in individual patients with COPD, including those with mild disease.
exacerbation of COPD; risk prediction; external validation; vascular disease
The long-acting inhaled anticholinergic agent, tiotropium, is recommended as first-line maintenance therapy for moderate to very severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to improve symptoms, exercise tolerance, health status, and to reduce exacerbations. Few studies have evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of tiotropium in patients in routine clinical conditions. The current study was designed to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of tiotropium delivered via the HandiHaler® device on the health status of patients with COPD with Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) disease classification 2–4 in six central and eastern European countries in a real-life clinical setting.
The study was an open-label, prospective, uncontrolled, and single-arm surveillance study with three clinic visits during a 6-month observation period (baseline, and months 3 and 6). Health status was measured using the disease-specific St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean change from baseline in SGRQ total score at the end of the 6-month observational period.
Patients treated with tiotropium 18 μg once daily showed statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction (improvement) of 21.7 units in the SGRQ total score, regardless of smoking status or cardiac comorbidities at enrollment (P < 0.0001). The analysis also showed that age, treatment compliance, and GOLD disease classification were significant factors that impact the health status of patients with COPD differently.
These results provide further support for the use of the tiotropium HandiHaler® as first-line maintenance treatment of patients with COPD with a clinician-assessed disease.
tiotropium; HandiHaler®; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; health-related quality of life
Background and objective
The Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) Committee has proposed a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) assessment framework focused on symptoms and on exacerbation risk. This study will evaluate a symptom and exacerbation risk-based treatment strategy based on GOLD in a real-world setting in Japan. Optimal management of COPD will be determined by assessing symptoms using the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and by assessing the frequency of exacerbations.
This study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01762800) is a 24-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group study. It aims to recruit 400 patients with moderate-to-severe COPD. Patients will be randomized to receive treatment with either salmeterol/fluticasone propionate (SFC) 50/250 μg twice daily or with tiotropium bromide 18 μg once daily. Optimal management of patients will be assessed at four-weekly intervals and, if patients remain symptomatic, as measured using the CAT, or experience an exacerbation, they have the option to step up to treatment with both drugs, ie, SFC twice daily and tiotropium once daily (TRIPLE therapy). The primary endpoint of the study will be the proportion of patients who are able to remain on the randomized therapy.
No data are available. This paper summarizes the methodology of the study in advance of the study starting.
The results of this study will help physicians to understand whether TRIPLE therapy is more effective than either treatment strategy alone in controlling symptoms and exacerbations in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD. It will also help physicians to understand the GOLD recommendation work in Japan.
COPD; GOLD; symptom; exacerbation risk; TRIPLE therapy
The burden of chronic respiratory disease (CRD) is alarming. International studies suggest that women with CRD are undersurveyed and underdiagnosed by physicians worldwide. It is unclear what the prevalence of CRD is in the general population of Syria, particularly among women, since there has never been a survey on CRD in this nation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of different patterns of smoking on CRD in women.
Materials and methods
We extracted data on smoking patterns and outcome in women from the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases survey. Using spirometric measurements before and after the use of inhaled bronchodilators, we tracked the frequency of CRD in females active and passive narghile or cigarette smokers presenting to primary care. We administered the questionnaire to 788 randomly selected females seen during 1 week in the fiscal year 2009–2010 in 22 primary care centers in six different regions of Syria. Inclusion criteria were age >6 years, presenting for any medical complaint. In this cross-sectional study, three groups of female subjects were evaluated: active smokers of cigarettes, active smokers of narghiles, and passive smokers of either cigarettes or narghiles. These three groups were compared to a control group of female subjects not exposed to active or passive smoking.
Exposure to active cigarette smoke but not narghile smoke was associated with doctor-diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, neither cigarette nor narghile active smoking was associated with increased incidence of spirometrically diagnosed COPD. Paradoxically, exposure to passive smoking of either cigarettes or narghiles resulted in association with airway obstruction, defined as forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) < 70% according to the Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criteria; association with FEV1 < 80% predicted, evidencing moderate to severe GOLD spirometric grade, and doctor-diagnosed COPD. Physicians tend to underdiagnose COPD in women who present to primary care clinics. Whereas around 15% of enrolled women had evidence of COPD with FEV1/FVC < 70% after bronchodilators, only 4.8% were physician-diagnosed. Asthma did not appear to be a significant spirometric finding in these female subjects, although around 11% had physician-diagnosed asthma. One limitation is FEV1/FVC < 70% could have also resulted from uncontrolled asthma. The same limitation has been reported by the Proyecto Latinoamericano de Investigacion en Obstruccion Pulmonar (PLATINO) study.
Contrary to popular belief in developing countries, women exposed to tobacco smoke, whether active or passive, and whether by cigarettes or narghiles, like men are at increased risk for the development of COPD, although cultural habits and taboos may decrease the risk of active smoking in some women.
These findings will be considered for country and region strategy for noncommunicable diseases, to overcome underdiagnosis of CRD in women, fight widespread female cigarette and narghile smoking, and promote behavioral research in this field.
passive smoking; women; COPD; asthma; narghile; water pipe; behavior
Dyspnea is a complex, prevalent, and distressing symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with decreased quality of life, significant disability, and increased mortality. It is a major reason for referral to pulmonary rehabilitation.
We reviewed 23 COPD studies to examine the evidence for the effectiveness of cognitive–behavioral strategies for relieving dyspnea in COPD.
Preliminary evidence from randomized controlled trials exists to support cognitive– behavioral strategies, used with or without exercise, for relieving sensory and affective components of dyspnea in COPD. Small to moderate treatment effects for relieving dyspnea were noted for psychotherapy (effect size [ES] = 0.08–0.25 for intensity; 0.26–0.65 for mastery) and distractive auditory stimuli (ES = 0.08–0.33 for intensity; 0.09 to −0.61 for functional burden). Small to large dyspnea improvements resulted from yoga (ES = 0.2–1.21 for intensity; 0.67 for distress; 0.07 for mastery; and −8.37 for functional burden); dyspnea self-management education with exercise (ES = −0.14 to −1.15 for intensity; −0.62 to −0.69 for distress; 1.04 for mastery; 0.14–0.35 for self-efficacy); and slow-breathing exercises (ES = −0.34 to −0.83 for intensity; −0.61 to −0.80 for distress; and 0.62 for self-efficacy). Cognitive–behavioral interventions may relieve dyspnea in COPD by (1) decreasing sympathetic nerve activity, dynamic hyperinflation, and comorbid anxiety, and (2) promoting arterial oxygen saturation, myelinated vagus nerve activity, a greater exercise training effect, and neuroplasticity.
While evidence is increasing, additional randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial and self-management interventions in relieving dyspnea, in order to make them more available to patients and to endorse them in official COPD, dyspnea, and pulmonary rehabilitation practice guidelines. By relieving dyspnea and related anxiety, such interventions may promote adherence to exercise programs and adaptive lifestyle change.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; dyspnea; anxiety; slow breathing; distractive auditory stimuli; self-management
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease that leads to huge economic and social burden. Efficient and effective management of stable COPD is essential to improve quality of life and reduce medical expenditure. The Internet of Things (IoT), a recent breakthrough in communication technology, seems promising in improving health care delivery, but its potential strengths in COPD management remain poorly understood. We have developed a mobile phone-based IoT (mIoT) platform and initiated a randomized, multicenter, controlled trial entitled the ‘MIOTIC study’ to investigate the influence of mIoT among stable COPD patients. In the MIOTIC study, at least 600 patients with stable GOLD group C or D COPD and with a history of at least two moderate-to-severe exacerbations within the previous year will be randomly allocated to the control group, which receives routine follow-up, or the intervention group, which receives mIoT management. Endpoints of the study include (1) frequency and severity of acute exacerbation; (2) symptomatic evaluation; (3) pre- and post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) measurement; (4) exercise capacity; and (5) direct medical cost per year. Results from this study should provide direct evidence for the suitability of mIoT in stable COPD patient management.
Internet of Things; mobile phone; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; efficacy
Bronchodilators are central drugs in the management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Indacaterol was the first agent of the novel family of very long-acting β2-agonists to be used as an inhaled bronchodilator for COPD and provides 24-hour therapeutic action, thus allowing once-daily administration. Data from clinical trials show that indacaterol has a bronchodilator effect similar to that of the anticholinergic tiotropium bromide and slightly higher efficacy compared with the long-acting β2-agonists, salmeterol and formoterol. Moreover, the safety profile is excellent and comparable with that of placebo. Concerning adherence with drug treatment and real-life management in respect to long-acting β2-agonists, once-daily dosing makes indacaterol more convenient for COPD patients and is likely to enhance patient adherence. Other very long-acting β2-agonists currently in development include vilanterol, olodaterol, and carmoterol, and these have shown good characteristics for clinical use in the studies reported thus far.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; bronchodilators; very long-acting β2-agonists
Aclidinium bromide is a new long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) indicated for maintenance bronchodilator treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The efficacy of aclidinium was compared with tiotropium and glycopyrronium, using a network meta-analysis (NMA) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in moderate-to-severe COPD patients.
A systematic review was performed to identify RCTs evaluating aclidinium 400 μg twice daily (BID), glycopyrronium 50 μg once daily (OD), tiotropium 18 μg OD, or tiotropium 5 μg OD in adults with moderate-to-severe COPD. The outcomes of interest were: trough forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1); St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) total score and proportion of patients achieving ≥4 unit change; Transition Dyspnea Index (TDI) focal score and proportion of patients achieving ≥1 point change. The results were synthesized by means of a Bayesian NMA.
Twenty-one studies (22,542 patients) were included: aclidinium 400 μg BID (three studies); tiotropium 5 μg OD (three studies); tiotropium 18 μg OD (13 studies); and glycopyrronium 50 μg OD (two studies). Regarding trough FEV1 at 24 weeks, aclidinium demonstrated comparable efficacy to tiotropium 5 μg (difference in change from baseline [CFB]), (0.02 L [95% credible interval CrI −0.05, 0.09]); tiotropium 18 μg (0.02 L [95% CrI −0.05, 0.08]); and glycopyrronium (0.00 L [95% CrI −0.07, 0.07]). Aclidinium resulted in higher improvement in SGRQ score at 24 weeks, compared to tiotropium 5 μg (difference in CFB, −2.44 [95% CrI −4.82, −0.05]); and comparable results to tiotropium 18 μg (−1.80 [95% CrI −4.52, 0.14]) and glycopyrronium (−1.52 [95% CrI −4.08, 1.03]). Improvements in TDI score were comparable for all treatments.
Maintenance treatment with aclidinium 400 μg BID is expected to produce similar improvements in lung function, health-related quality of life, and dyspnea compared to tiotropium 5 μg OD; tiotropium 18 μg OD; and glycopyrronium 50 μg OD.
COPD; aclidinium; tiotropium; glycopyrronium; systematic review; network meta-analysis
The purpose of this study was to quantify the walking time and frequency of postural changes in daily life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using a new triaxial accelerometer system.
Twenty-six elderly patients with stable COPD (age 76.8 ± 6.2 years; percent forced expiratory volume in one second [%FEV1] 52.9% ± 26.3%) and 20 age-matched elderly subjects (age 73.0 ± 4.2 years; %FEV1 124.0% ± 22.3%) participated in the study. The subjects’ time spent walking (slow, fast), standing, sitting, and lying down and the frequency of their postural changes (getting up, standing up) were assessed for 7 consecutive days using an Activity Monitoring And Evaluation System (A-MES™). We analyzed the relationships among walking times, frequency of postural changes, and physiologic factors in both COPD patients and controls.
The COPD patients’ total walking time, including slow (<2 km/hour) and fast (≥2 km/hour) walking, and their frequency of standing up were significantly lower than those of the age-matched controls (P < 0.01). The fast walking time in daily life was significantly correlated with the 6-minute walking distance, quadriceps femoris muscle force, and dyspnea (P < 0.01).
These results suggest that both slow (<2 km/hour) and fast (≥2 km/hour) walking time and frequency of postural changes is significantly decreased in COPD patients compared with healthy elderly subjects. The data also suggest that the COPD patients’ different walking times in daily life are significantly correlated with exercise capacity and dyspnea. The 6-minute walking distance had the strongest correlation with fast walking time.
slow walking; fast walking; frequency of postural changes; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; triaxial accelerometer
Spirometry is important in the diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet it is a common clinical observation that it is underused though the extent is unclear. This survey aims to examine the use of spirometry in the diagnosis and management of COPD patients in a district in Hong Kong. It is a cross-sectional survey involving four clinic settings: hospital-based respiratory specialist clinic, hospital-based mixed medical specialist clinic, general outpatient clinic (primary care), and tuberculosis and chest clinic. Thirty physician-diagnosed COPD patients were randomly selected from each of the four clinic groups. All of them had a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) to forced vital capacity ratio less than 0.70 and had been followed up at the participating clinic for at least 6 months for COPD treatment. Of 126 patients who underwent spirometry, six (4.8%) did not have COPD. Of the 120 COPD patients, there were 111 males and mean post-bronchodilator FEV1 was 46.2% predicted. Only 22 patients (18.3%) had spirometry done during diagnostic workup, and 64 patients (53.3%) had spirometry done ever. The only independent factor predicting spirometry done ever was absence of old pulmonary tuberculosis and follow-up at respiratory specialist clinic. Age, sex, smoking status, comorbidities, duration of COPD, percentage predicted FEV1, body mass index, 6-minute walking distance, and Medical Research Council dyspnea score were not predictive. We conclude that spirometry is underused in general but especially by nonrespiratory physicians and family physicians in the management of COPD patients. More effort at educating the medical community is urgently needed.
guidelines; pulmonary function tests; specialist
The increase in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) effected by a bronchodilator is routinely assessed when patients undertake pulmonary function testing (PFT). Several drug classes can theoretically affect the magnitude of the increase in FEV1. Withholding periods are advised for many but not all such drugs. Anecdotally, many subjects presenting for PFT are found to have taken drugs that might affect the test. We did an audit of patients presenting for PFT to assess the frequency with which FEV1 reversibility might be affected by drugs.
One hundred subjects presenting to the laboratory for PFT were questioned about recent drug consumption by an independent pharmacy intern. Reversibility of FEV1 was assumed to have been affected if drugs of interest were consumed within defined withholding periods or two half-lives for drugs without such data.
Sixty-three subjects were prescribed drugs likely to affect FEV1 reversibility. Thirty-six subjects consumed at least one such drug within the withholding period. Half (18) of these patients consumed β-blockers with or without β-agonists. Sixty-five subjects did not recall receiving any advice about withholding drugs prior to the test and only 10 recalled receiving advice from their clinician or pulmonary function technician.
Subjects presenting for PFT are infrequently advised to withhold drugs that may affect FEV1 reversibility, and consequently, often take such drugs close to the time of the test. Therefore, it is likely that the increase in FEV1 is frequently affected by interference from drugs and this might impact on diagnosis and/or treatment options.
lung function tests; beta-adrenergic agonists; beta-adrenergic antagonists; withholding periods; bronchodilators