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      Low FEV 1, smoking history, and obesity are factors associated with oxygen saturation decrease in an adult population cohort

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          Worsening of pulmonary diseases is associated with a decrease in oxygen saturation (SpO 2). Such a decrease in SpO 2 and associated factors has not been previously evaluated in a general adult population.


          We sought to describe SpO 2 in a sample of adults, at baseline and after 6.3 years, to determine whether factors predicting low SpO 2 in a cross-sectional study were also associated with a decrease in SpO 2 in this cohort.


          As part of the Tromsø Study, 2,822 participants were examined with pulse oximetry in Tromsø 5 (2001/2002) and Tromsø 6 (2007/2008). Low SpO 2 by pulse oximetry was defined as an SpO 2 ≤95%, and SpO 2 decrease was defined as a ≥2% decrease from baseline to below 96%.


          A total of 139 (4.9%) subjects had a decrease in SpO 2. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1) <50% of the predicted value and current smoking with a history of ≥10 pack-years were the baseline characteristics most strongly associated with an SpO 2 decrease in multivariable logistic regression (odds ratio 3.55 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.60–7.89] and 2.48 [95% CI 1.48–4.15], respectively). Male sex, age, former smoking with a history of ≥10 pack-years, body mass index ≥30 kg/m 2, and C-reactive protein ≥5 mg/L were also significantly associated with an SpO 2 decrease. A significant decrease in FEV 1 and a new diagnosis of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during the observation period most strongly predicted a fall in SpO 2. A lower SpO 2 decrease was observed in those who quit smoking and those who lost weight, but these tendencies were not statistically significant.


          A decrease in SpO 2 was most strongly associated with severe airflow limitation and a history of smoking. Smoking cessation and reducing obesity seem to be important measures to target for avoiding SpO 2 decreases in the general population.

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          Most cited references 29

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          The natural history of chronic airflow obstruction.

          A prospective epidemiological study of the early stages of the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was performed on London working men. The findings showed that forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) falls gradually over a lifetime, but in most non-smokers and many smokers clinically significant airflow obstruction never develops. In susceptible people, however, smoking causes irreversible obstructive changes. If a susceptible smoker stops smoking he will not recover his lung function, but the average further rates of loss of FEV1 will revert to normal. Therefore, severe or fatal obstructive lung disease could be prevented by screening smokers' lung function in early middle age if those with reduced function could be induced to stop smoking. Infective processes and chronic mucus hypersecretion do not cause chronic airflow obstruction to progress more rapidly. There are thus two largely unrelated disease processes, chronic airflow obstruction and the hypersecretory disorder (including infective processes).
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            Hypoxemia in patients with COPD: cause, effects, and disease progression

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death and disability internationally. Alveolar hypoxia and consequent hypoxemia increase in prevalence as disease severity increases. Ventilation/perfusion mismatch resulting from progressive airflow limitation and emphysema is the key driver of this hypoxia, which may be exacerbated by sleep and exercise. Uncorrected chronic hypoxemia is associated with the development of adverse sequelae of COPD, including pulmonary hypertension, secondary polycythemia, systemic inflammation, and skeletal muscle dysfunction. A combination of these factors leads to diminished quality of life, reduced exercise tolerance, increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity, and greater risk of death. Concomitant sleep-disordered breathing may place a small but significant subset of COPD patients at increased risk of these complications. Long-term oxygen therapy has been shown to improve pulmonary hemodynamics, reduce erythrocytosis, and improve survival in selected patients with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure. However, the optimal treatment for patients with exertional oxyhemoglobin desaturation, isolated nocturnal hypoxemia, or mild-to-moderate resting daytime hypoxemia remains uncertain.
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              C-reactive protein levels and clinically important predictive outcomes in stable COPD patients.

              The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and factors known to predict outcome in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The following were studied in 130 stable COPD patients: spirometry, lung volume, arterial oxygen tension (P(a,O2)), dyspnoea, 6-min walk distance (6MWD), body mass index, fat-free mass index, BODE (body mass index, obstruction, dyspnoea and exercise capacity), health-related quality of life, smoking status, the presence of cardiovascular risk factors or disease, corticosteroid use and number of exacerbations in the previous year. CRP levels were measured in these patients and in 65 controls. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, any possible association with the predictors of outcomes was evaluated. CRP levels were higher in COPD patients than in controls (4.1 versus 1.8 mg.L(-1), respectively). Correlation was found with the following variables: forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1; -0.23), FEV1 % (-0.20), forced vital capacity (FVC; -0.24), FVC % (-0.24), Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage (0.17), BODE (0.17), inspiratory capacity/total lung capacity (-0.20), P(a,O2) (-0.40) and 6MWD (-0.30). Using multivariate analysis, P(a,O2) and 6MWD manifested the strongest negative association with CRP levels. C-reactive protein levels in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients are best correlated with arterial oxygen tension and 6-min walk distance. This should be considered when C-reactive protein levels are measured in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                21 October 2014
                : 9
                : 1225-1233
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
                [3 ]Department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Monica Linea Vold, Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, 9038 Tromsø, Norway, Tel +47 776 26828, Fax +47 776 28261, Email monica.linea.vold@
                © 2014 Vold et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                general population, cohort study, lung function, pulse oximetry


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