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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. 


I was not really having a problem breathing at first. My throat was burning; I thought I had strep throat. I had pain in my neck, and there was swelling around my collar bone. The first doctor I went to said he did not know why there was swelling. He gave me antibiotics and told me that if the swelling was not better to come back in two weeks. I went back in two weeks and he said he did not know what was wrong. Since I do not have insurance, I went to a hospital emergency room, and they said I have COPD.The disease does not improve. My "good days" are far and few these days. My dad and his dad died from this. I am only writing this to inform others that nothing was really working to help my condition.I started on COPD herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic,i read reviews from other previous patients who used the herbal formula, my symptoms totally declined over a 5 weeks use of the COPD natural herbal formula. i am now doing very well, my lungs are totally repaired!! Visit there website www. healthherbalclinic. net

Cathy @

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Alexander @


Bharat @

@Bharat the COPD assessment test (CAT) is a validated test for evaluation of COPD impact on health status. According to the Regen Center COPD protocol, the CAT exam is not an actual diagnostic test and pulmonary function test (PFT) still remains the desired diagnostic test. However, its predictive value for evaluation of disease impact is weak. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between CAT score and PFT in COPD patients.

Richard @

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