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COPD--Impact of Undertreated Symptoms

COPD--Impact of Undertreated Symptoms

  • When COPD is Undertreated: Impact of Symptom Burden

  • Elevated symptom burden in COPD is associated with increased exacerbations, acitivity impairment, and healthcare utilization, and decreased work productivity

  • COPD Assessment Test score provides comprehensive assessment of COPD symptom severity in the past year, and accounts for likelihood of future exacerbations.

  • Analysis included data from >2100 adults seen for routine COPD care in Europe, USA, and China

  • COPD Assessment test results: ≥10.4 in 90% of patients; ≥20 in 62.3% of patients; mean CAT score highest in China (98.2% ≥10)

  • Higher CAT scores associated with significantly increased frequency of visits to PCPs, specialists, and more exacerbations requiring hospitalization

  • Increasing CAT scores linked to significantly increased work absenteeism, impaired work productivity and total activity impairment

  • A 7% increase in activity impairment is "important" in Crohn patients; a 4 point increase in CAT score --an 8% increase in overall activity impairment--may be similarly important in COPD

  • Authors' note a disconnect between physicians’ prescribing practices and COPD treatment guidelines.

  • Take home points:Increasing COPD symptom burden associated with higher HCU, increased exacerbations, activity impairment; large proportion of patients were on single short-acting or maintenance bronchodilator monotherapy, a sign that symptoms may have been undertreated

COPD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.  A recent CDC study suggests that people with COPD are 5 times less able to work, 3 times more limited in their activities, and over 3 times more limited in their ability to walk or climb stairs than those without COPD.2 Moreover, the impact on physical activity can create a downward spiral, limiting activity in other parts of life like social and family routines. Limitations on physical activity are also the strongest predictors of death in patients with COPD.3

This short slide show summarizes results of a recent study that examined the impact of COPD symptom burden in the US, Europe, and China. 


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