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      Finding the missing millions – the impact of a locally enhanced service for COPD on current and projected rates of diagnosis: a population-based prevalence study using interrupted time series analysis

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          Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not identified until their condition is relatively advanced and there is a considerable gap between the modelled and diagnosed prevalence of the disease. We have previously shown that, in the first year after the introduction of a locally enhanced service (LES) for COPD in 2008, there was a significant step-up in the diagnosed prevalence.


          To investigate whether this initial increase in prevalence was sustained, and the impact of this increase on future projected rates of COPD diagnosis.


          Using data from 2005–2011, we compared the prevalence of diagnosed COPD in the LES Primary Care Trust (LES-PCT) before and after it was introduced. Data were compared with a neighbouring PCT, the London Strategic Health Authority, and England. The true prevalence of COPD was estimated based on data from the Health Survey for England. Trends were extrapolated to estimate the proportion of patients that would be diagnosed in 2017.


          The introduction of the LES was associated with a significant acceleration in the annual increase in diagnosed COPD (p<0.0001). By 2011 the prevalence was 1.17% in the LES-PCT compared with a predicted value of 0.91% (95% CI 0.86% to 0.95%) based on the pre-LES trend. There was no change in the rate of increase in COPD prevalence for the neighbouring PCT or for London as a whole. The LES-PCT would be expected to diagnose 55.6% of COPD patients by 2017 compared with only 27.3% without the LES, and only 33.3% would be diagnosed in the neighbouring PCT.


          These data suggest that, with appropriate incentives, it is possible to achieve a sustained improvement in COPD case-finding in primary care and that such policies need to be implemented systematically.

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          Most cited references 16

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          The effects of a smoking cessation intervention on 14.5-year mortality: a randomized clinical trial.

          Randomized clinical trials have not yet demonstrated the mortality benefit of smoking cessation. To assess the long-term effect on mortality of a randomly applied smoking cessation program. The Lung Health Study was a randomized clinical trial of smoking cessation. Special intervention participants received the smoking intervention program and were compared with usual care participants. Vital status was followed up to 14.5 years. 10 clinical centers in the United States and Canada. 5887 middle-aged volunteers with asymptomatic airway obstruction. All-cause mortality and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and other respiratory disease. The intervention was a 10-week smoking cessation program that included a strong physician message and 12 group sessions using behavior modification and nicotine gum, plus either ipratropium or a placebo inhaler. At 5 years, 21.7% of special intervention participants had stopped smoking since study entry compared with 5.4% of usual care participants. After up to 14.5 years of follow-up, 731 patients died: 33% of lung cancer, 22% of cardiovascular disease, 7.8% of respiratory disease other than cancer, and 2.3% of unknown causes. All-cause mortality was significantly lower in the special intervention group than in the usual care group (8.83 per 1000 person-years vs. 10.38 per 1000 person-years; P = 0.03). The hazard ratio for mortality in the usual care group compared with the special intervention group was 1.18 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.37). Differences in death rates for both lung cancer and cardiovascular disease were greater when death rates were analyzed by smoking habit. Results apply only to individuals with airway obstruction. Smoking cessation intervention programs can have a substantial effect on subsequent mortality, even when successful in a minority of participants.
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            Regular physical activity modifies smoking-related lung function decline and reduces risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population-based cohort study.

            We have previously reported that regular physical activity reduces risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation. We hypothesized that higher levels of regular physical activity could reduce the risk of COPD by modifying smoking-related lung function decline. To estimate the longitudinal association between regular physical activity and FEV(1) and FVC decline and COPD risk. A population-based sample (n = 6,790) was recruited and assessed with respect to physical activity, smoking, lung function, and other covariates, in Copenhagen in 1981-1983, and followed until 1991-1994. Mean level of physical activity between baseline and follow-up was classified into "low," "moderate," and "high." FEV(1) and FVC decline rates were expressed as milliliters per year. COPD was defined as FEV(1)/FVC < or = 70%. Adjusted associations between physical activity and FEV(1) and FVC decline, and COPD incidence, were obtained using linear and logistic regression, respectively. Active smokers with moderate and high physical activity had a reduced FEV(1) and FVC decline compared with those with low physical activity (relative change of +2.6 and +4.8 ml/yr of FEV(1), P-for-trend = 0.006, and +2.6 and +7.7 ml/yr of FVC, P-for-trend < 0.0001, for the moderate and high physical activity group, respectively), after adjusting for all potential confounders and risk factors of lung function decline. Active smokers with moderate to high physical activity had a reduced risk of developing COPD as compared with the low physical activity group (odds ratio, 0.77; p = 0.027). This prospective study shows that moderate to high levels of regular physical activity are associated with reduced lung function decline and COPD risk among smokers.
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              The COPD assessment test (CAT): response to pulmonary rehabilitation. A multicentre, prospective study.

              The COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) assessment test (CAT) is a recently introduced, simple to use patient-completed quality of life instrument that contains eight questions covering the impact of symptoms in COPD. It is not known how the CAT score performs in the context of clinical pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programmes or what the minimum clinically important difference is. The introduction of the CAT score as an outcome measure was prospectively studied by PR programmes across London. It was used alongside other measures including the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire, the Clinical COPD Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression score, the Medical Research Council (MRC) dyspnoea score and a range of different walking tests. Patients completed a 5-point anchor question used to assess overall response to PR from 'I feel much better' to 'I feel much worse'. Data were available for 261 patients with COPD participating in seven programmes: mean (SD) age 69.0 (9.0) years, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) 51.1 (18.7) % predicted, MRC score 3.2 (1.0). Mean change in CAT score after PR was 2.9 (5.6) points, improving by 3.8 (6.1) points in those scoring 'much better' (n=162), and by 1.3(4.5) in those who felt 'a little better' (n=88) (p=0.002). Only eight individuals reported no difference after PR and three reported feeling 'a little worse', so comparison with these smaller groups was not possible. The CAT score is simple to implement as an outcome measure, it improves in response to PR and can distinguish categories of response.

                Author and article information

                Prim Care Respir J
                Prim Care Respir J
                Primary Care Respiratory Journal: Journal of the General Practice Airways Group
                Nature Publishing Group
                March 2013
                22 January 2013
                : 22
                : 1
                : 59-63
                [1 ]Central London Community Healthcare , 64 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, UK
                [2 ]Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London , London, UK
                [3 ]Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College NHS Trust , London, UK
                [4 ]NIHR Respiratory Disease Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London , London, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Senior Lecturer and Hon Consultant Respiratory Physician, NIHR Respiratory Disease Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London , Fulham Road, London SW3 6NP, UK. Tel: +44 (0)207 349 7775 Fax: +44 (0)207 349 7778 E-mail: n.hopkinson@

                The LES was developed by CF and IDB. NSH and CF collected and analysed the data. MS provided the modelled COPD prevalences. NSH wrote the first draft with CF and all authors contributed to the final draft and approved the final version. NSH is the guarantor of the paper.

                Copyright © 2013 Primary Care Respiratory Society UK
                Research Paper

                primary care, copd, spirometry, prevalence, modelling


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