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      Quality of Life and Limitations in Daily Life of Stable COPD Outpatients in a Real-World Setting in Austria – Results from the CLARA Project

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          COPD patients suffer from respiratory symptoms and limitations in daily life. We aimed to characterize the impact of disease on overall health, daily life, and perceived well-being in COPD outpatients.


          We conducted a national, cross-sectional study among pulmonologists and general practitioners (GPs). The St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD patients (SGRQ-C) was used. Inclusion criteria were a physician’s diagnosis of COPD and age ≥40 years. Subjects with a history of lung surgery, lung cancer or COPD exacerbation within the last four weeks were excluded.


          Sixty-seven pulmonologists and 6 GPs enrolled 1175 COPD patients. Two hundred forty-eight of those did not fulfill GOLD criteria for COPD (FEV 1/FVC <0.7) and 77 were excluded due to missing data. Finally, 850 patients (62.8% men; mean age 66.2 ± 0.3 (SE) years; mean FEV 1%pred. 51.5 ± 0.6 (SE)) were analyzed. Last year, 55.4% reported at least one exacerbation, and 12.7% were hospitalized for COPD exacerbation. Mean SGRQ-C total score was 43.1 ± 0.83 (SE) and mean component scores for symptoms, activity and impacts were 55.6, 55.4 and 30.5, respectively. Half of the patients (50.3%) reported not being able to do any sports and 78.7% stated that their respiratory symptoms did not allow them doing anything they would like to do. In patients with less severe COPD (FEV 1pred ≥50% and non-frequent exacerbations), global health status was overrated, ie, estimated as better by the physician than by the patient, while it was underrated in more severe COPD.


          In Austria, the burden of disease in COPD outpatients tends to be underestimated in patients with milder airway obstruction and less exacerbations and overestimated in patients with more severe airway obstruction and frequent exacerbations. Our finding suggests that validated assessment of global health status might decrease these differences of perception.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Determinants of underdiagnosis of COPD in national and international surveys.

          COPD ranks within the top three causes of mortality in the global burden of disease, yet it remains largely underdiagnosed. We assessed the underdiagnosis of COPD and its determinants in national and international surveys of general populations.
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            Risk of death and readmission of hospital-admitted COPD exacerbations: European COPD Audit.

            Studies report high in-hospital and post-discharge mortality of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations varying depending upon patient characteristics, hospital resources and treatment standards. This study aimed to investigate the patient, resource and organisational factors associated with in-hospital and 90-day post-discharge mortality and readmission of COPD exacerbations within the European COPD Audit. The audit collected data of COPD exacerbation admissions from 13 European countries.On admission, only 49.7% of COPD patients had spirometry results available and only 81.6% had blood gases taken. Using logistic regression analysis, the risk associated with in-hospital and post-discharge mortality was higher age, presence of acidotic respiratory failure, subsequent need for ventilatory support and presence of comorbidity. In addition, the 90-day risk of COPD readmission was associated with previous admissions. Only the number of respiratory specialists per 1000 beds, a variable related to hospital resources, decreased the risk of post-discharge mortality.The European COPD Audit identifies risk factors associated with in-hospital and post-discharge mortality and COPD readmission. Addressing the deficiencies in acute COPD care such as making spirometry available and measuring blood gases and providing noninvasive ventilation more regularly would provide opportunities to improve COPD outcomes.
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              Mortality in COPD: causes, risk factors, and prevention.

               E. Berry,  Robert Wise (2010)
              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading and increasing cause of death, the extent of which is underestimated as a consequence of underdiagnosis and underreporting on death certificates. Data from large trials, such as the Lung Health Study, Towards a Revolution in COPD Health (TORCH), Understanding Potential Long-term Impacts on Function with Tiotropium (UPLIFT), European Respiratory Society Study on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (EUROSCOP), and Inhaled Steroids in Obstructive Lung Disease (ISOLDE), have shown that the causes of death in patients with mild COPD are predominantly cancer and cardiovascular disease, but as COPD severity increases, deaths due to non-malignant respiratory disease are increasingly common. In practice, mortality of patients with COPD can be predicted by a variety of measures including: forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), the ratio of inspiratory and total lung capacities, exercise capacity, dyspnea scores, and composite indices such as the body-mass index (B), degree of airflow obstruction (O), degree of functional dyspnea (D), and exercise capacity (E) (BODE) index. Smoking cessation improves survival in COPD patients, and in select patients with advanced disease, oxygen therapy, lung volume reduction surgery, or lung transplantation may also improve survival.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                12 July 2020
                : 15
                : 1655-1663
                [1 ]Department of Pulmonology, Kepler University Hospital , Linz, Austria
                [2 ]Faculty of Medicine, Johannes Kepler University , Linz, Austria
                [3 ]Institute of General, Family and Preventive Medicine, Paracelsus Medical University , Salzburg, Austria
                [4 ]First Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology, Otto Wagner Hospital and Sigmund Freud University, Medical School , Vienna, Austria
                [5 ]Second Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Otto Wagner Hospital and Sigmund Freud University, Medical School , Vienna, Austria
                [6 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Paracelsus Medical University , Salzburg, Austria
                [7 ]Specialist Office for Pulmonology Dr. Merkle , Vienna, Austria
                [8 ]Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Lung Vascular Research , Graz, Austria
                [9 ]A. Menarini Pharma GmbH , Vienna, Austria
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Andreas Horner Kepler University Hospital, Department of Pulmonology , Krankenhausstrasse 9, LinzA4021, AustriaTel +43 (0) 5 7680 83 – 6911Fax +43 (0) 5 7680 83 – 6915 Email
                © 2020 Horner et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 30, Pages: 9
                Original Research


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