The economic impact of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Sweden in 1980 and 1991. (1/5638)

This study was carried out to estimate the direct and indirect costs associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Sweden in 1980 and 1991, and to identify trends in the use of outpatient care, drugs and inpatient care, and the development of temporary morbidity, permanent disability and mortality for asthma and COPD. Routinely published administrative and population data were used to estimate the costs of asthma and COPD, and these figures were compared to corresponding estimates and trends for all respiratory diseases as well as for all diseases. Asthma and COPD each accounted for about SEK 3 billion, together roughly 2% of the economic cost of all diseases. Although the total costs associated with each disease were similar, the distribution of the different cost components and changes in each component over time differed. During the 1980s, the cost of drugs and out-patient care increased for both diseases. The cost of inpatient care for asthma decreased, whereas that for COPD increased. This study shows that asthma therapy has changed from inpatient to ambulatory care in Sweden, while the treatment of COPD to a higher degree still is based on inpatient care.  (+info)

Physiological and symptom determinants of exercise performance in patients with chronic airway obstruction. (2/5638)

To evaluate the physiological and symptom determinants of exercise performance (EP) as measured by a 6-min walking test (6MWD), Watt(max), and peak oxygen consumption (VO2 ml/min/kg), 105 patients with chronic airway obstruction (CAO) [50 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): 44 men, aged 63+/-7 years, forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) forced vital capacity (FVC)(-1)% 54+/-13; and 55 asthmatic: 23 men, aged 55+/-10 years, FEV1 FVC(-1) % 65+/-10] underwent evaluation of 6MWD, symptom limited cyclo-ergometer exercise test, spirometry, respiratory muscle function, arterial blood gases and sensation of dyspnoea [using the Borg scale, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Baseline Dyspnoea Index (BDI)]. A hierarchical method of analysis identified the residual volume (RV), total lung capacity (TLC)(-1) ratio, BDI and the patient's age as the strongest and most consistent correlates of EP (r2 = 0.14-0.21). The correlation between EP and its various determinants was not influenced by diagnosis. The relationship between breathlessness and EP was different between men and women: at any given level of exercise, women were more breathless than men. In multivariate analyses that contained both RV TLC(-1) and BDI, the RV TLC(-1) ratio was the strongest correlate of EP, although the BDI remained a significant covariate. Overall, age was the major determinant of EP but inclusion of the RV TLC(-1) ratio and the BDI into the model explained a further 9-15% of the variance in EP. These three covariates together explained 26-34% of the variance between patients. We conclude that in stable CAO patients, the prediction of exercise capacity by anthropometric, demographic, clinical and physiological variables is likely to be low. Age, pulmonary hyperinflation and dyspnoea are the strongest and most consistent correlates of impaired exercise performance. Airways obstruction, measured during expiration using FEV1, does not appear to be a predictor of physiological impairment. These results underline the importance of performing exercise evaluation in CAO patients.  (+info)

Impact of patient education and self-management on morbidity in asthmatics and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (3/5638)

The effect of patient education on morbidity in asthmatics and COPD patients has not previously been investigated in a single study. We randomized 78 asthmatics and 62 COPD patients after ordinary outpatient management. Intervention consisted of educational group sessions and individual sessions administered by a trained nurse and physiotherapist. A self-management plan was developed. The utilization of health resources and absenteeism from work was self-reported monthly. During the 12-month follow-up, approximately two (P= 0.001) and three (P= 0.001) times as many uneducated asthmatics and COPD patients, respectively, visited their general practitioner (GP) compared with educated. The mean reduction in GP consultations for the educated were 73% (P<0.001) and 85% (P<0.0001) for the asthma and COPD group, respectively, compared with uneducated. Fifty percent of uneducated asthmatics reported absenteeism from work compared with 24% of the educated (P = 0.06). The mean reduction in days offwork for the educated was 69% (P = 0.03), compared with uneducated. A positive correlation was observed between St George's Respiratory Questionnaire total score and number of GP visits for both the asthma and COPD group (P < 0.001). We conclude that patient education in asthmatics and COPD patients reduced the need for GP visits and kept a greater proportion of patients independent of their GP. Patient education among asthmatics also reduced the number of days off work and appeared to increase the proportion of patients not reporting absenteeism from work at all. Increasing number of GP visits was correlated with decreased health-related quality of life as measured by the SGRQ for both the asthmatics and the COPD patients.  (+info)

How accurate are pulse oximeters in patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive airways disease? (4/5638)

The aim of this study was to determine the extent of correlation and agreement between arterial oxygen saturation and oxygen saturation as recorded by transcutaneous pulse oximetry, with a view to identifying whether pulse oximetry can be used as an alternative to arterial values in the clinical management of patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD) in the emergency department. It also aims to determine whether there is a cut-off level of oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry that can screen for significant systemic hypoxia in this group. This prospective study of patients with acute exacerbations of COAD who were deemed by their treating doctor to require an arterial blood gas analysis to determine their ventilatory status, compared arterial oxygen saturation with simultaneously recorded oxygen saturation measured by transcutaneous pulse oximetry. Data were analysed using Pearson correlation, bias plot (Bland-Altman) methods for agreement and the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve method for determination of a screening cut-off. Sixty-four sample-pairs were analysed for this study. Nine (14%) had significant hypoxia (arterial PO2 less than 60 mmHg). The correlation coefficient was 0.91. The bias (Bland-Altman) plot shows a constant bias of -0.758% and only fair agreement, with 95% limits for agreement of -8.2 to + 6.7%. With respect to the ROC curve analysis, the 'best' cut-off for detection of hypoxia was at oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry of 92% (sensitivity 100%, specificity 86%). In conclusion, there is not sufficient agreement for oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry to replace analysis of an arterial blood gas sample in the clinical evaluation of oxygenation in emergency patients with COAD. However, oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry may be an effective screening test for systemic hypoxia, with the screening cut-off of 92% having sensitivity for the detection of systemic hypoxia of 100% with specificity of 86%.  (+info)

Has the perception of disability among COPD patients applying for pension changed during the last 20 years? (5/5638)

The aim is to examine the change in lung function, treatment and pulmonary symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic bronchitis (CB) applying for a pension during the period 1977-1996. In addition, we compared the perception of disability in males and females. From 1977 to 1996, 947 patients with COPD or CB were evaluated for obtaining economic support due to disability. In order to test the trend, the patients were divided into three periods: (1) 1977-1983, (2) 1984-1989 and (3) 1990-1996. Compared to females, males had substantial more pack-years of smoking (36 vs. 28, P<0.001), but their FEV1 was only slightly decreased (46.9% versus 49.6% predicted, P=0.047). Females reported significantly more often attacks of dyspnoea [OR: 1.5(1.00-2.2)] and any kind of dyspnoea during daytime [OR: 4.0(1.2-13.3)]. From period 1 to period 3, FEV1 increased significantly (45-53% predicted, P<0.001). Despite the increased FEV1, the use of inhaled corticosteroid had increased markedly (9-32% of the patients, P<0.001). The results did not change when patients with asthma were included. Our data suggest that both sexes, especially females, have become more aware of pulmonary symptoms and tend to react to them more actively by demanding evaluation and treatment.  (+info)

Diagostic value of respiratory impedance measurements in elderly subjects. (6/5638)

Obstructive lung disease (OLD) is highly prevalent in elderly subjects but markedly under-diagnosed. Indeed, only 40-50% of hospitalized elderly patients are able to adequately perform spirometric tests. This study aimed to evaluate, in an acute-care geriatric hospital, the diagnostic value of measuring airway impedance (Zrs) by the forced oscillation technique (FOT) for: (1) identifying OLD and (2) identifying responders vs. non-responders to bronchodilators. Sixty-seven patients (aged 82+/-8 years) underwent consecutive measurement of Zrs and forced expiratory volumes before and after bronchodilators. Zrs was measured by FOT at frequencies of 4-30 Hz. Correlations, ROC curves and logistic regression models were established to determine the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of Zrs in identifying OLD. Significant correlations were found between spirometric and Zrs measurements. The Zrs parameters yielding the best Se and Sp for detecting OLD were: Fn (resonant frequency; Se: 76%; Sp: 78%) and R0 (resistance extrapolated for a frequency of 0: Se: 76%; Sp: 74%). Using the logistic regression models, 76% of the patients were correctly classified as having OLD or not. Zrs was however not contributive in identifying responders to bronchodilators. Zrs measurements by FOT are contributive to the diagnosis of OLD in elderly hospitalized patients.  (+info)

The Bronchitis Randomized On NAC Cost-Utility Study (BRONCUS): hypothesis and design. BRONCUS-trial Committee. (7/5638)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an irreversible disorder characterized by airflow obstruction and a progressive decline in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). At present, no treatment except quitting smoking appears to affect the progression of the disease. Oxidative stress has been implicated in its pathogenesis. The Bronchitis Randomized on NAC Cost-Utility Study (BRONCUS) is a phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, multicentre study designed to assess the effectiveness of the antioxidant agent N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in altering the decline in FEV1, exacerbation rate, and quality of life in patients with moderate to severe COPD. In addition, cost-utility of the treatment will be estimated. Patients will be followed for 3 yrs and evaluated every 3 months. The necessary sample size to demonstrate an effect on the decline in FEV1 of 20 mL x yr(-1) was estimated to be 478 patients. Five hundred and twenty-three patients with moderate to severe COPD were recruited from 10 European countries from June 1, 1997-December 31, 1999. They were 63+/-8 yrs old and consisted of 243 (46%) current smokers and 280 (54%) exsmokers. Patients had on the average 4.9+/-1.6 exacerbations during the last 2 yrs. Postbronchodilator FEVI averaged 57+/-9% and the reversibility after 400 microg of Salbutamol averaged 4+/-4% predicted. The final results of the trial will be available in about 2 yrs. The study will provide objective data on the effects of N-acetylcysteine on outcome variables in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  (+info)

Dose dependent increased mortality risk in COPD patients treated with oral glucocorticoids. (8/5638)

Systemic corticosteroids are often administered in COPD patients. The relationship between systemic glucocorticoids and mortality in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was retrospectively analysed. Baseline characteristics of the patients, in stable clinical condition, were collected on admission to a pulmonary rehabilitation centre. Overall mortality was asessed at the end of follow-up. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to quantify the relationship between glucocorticoid use, distinguishing administration route (oral/inhalation) and oral dose, and overall mortality, adjusted for the influence of age, sex, smoking, lung function, resting arterial blood gases and body mass index. On multivariate analysis, oral glucocorticoid use at a (prednisone equivalent) dose of 10 mg x day(-1) without inhaled glucocorticoids, was associated with an increased risk (RR=2.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-4.44) while 15 mg x day(-1) carried a relative risk of 4.03, CI = 1.99-8.15). A significant interaction was observed between inhaled and oral glucocorticoid use. Combined with inhaled glucocorticoids, the relative risk of oral glucocorticoid use appeared to be significantly smaller. It is concluded that in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, maintenance treatment with oral glucocorticoids is associated with increased mortality in a dose-dependent manner. Since the present study design cannot exclude the possibility of bias by indication, further prospective studies are indicated using a broader patient characterization.  (+info)