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      Accuracy of Airflow Obstruction Thresholds for Predicting COPD-Related Hospitalization and Mortality : Can Simple Diagnostic Thresholds Be Used for a Complex Disease?

      1 , 2 , 3 , 4

      JAMA

      American Medical Association (AMA)

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          Lower limit of normal or FEV1/FVC < 0.70 in diagnosing COPD: an evidence-based review.

          To review the currently available literature comparing the FEV1/FVC 40 years. A structured MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane search of English-language literature was conducted. Studies comparing prevalence rates according to the LLN and a fixed value were included. Attention was paid to the choice of the reference test or gold standard used. Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Sixteen studies compared the rates of subjects diagnosed with airflow obstruction by either definition of airflow obstruction without using a non-independent reference standard (level 4 studies). Using a fixed value of FEV1/FVC, an overall higher number of subjects were diagnosed with airflow obstruction that increased with age. Two studies included a follow-up phase comparing risks of either hospitalization or occurrence of respiratory symptoms and mortality (level 2b studies). Adjusted risks of hospitalization (HR 2.6) or mortality (HR 1.3) were significantly larger in subjects with an FEV1/FVC below 0.70 but above the LLN (in-between group) compared to subjects with normal lung function. The prevalence of spirometry-based COPD is greater when using the fixed value of FEV1/FVC in comparison to using the LLN. Based on one longitudinal study the in-between group appears to have a higher risk of hospitalization and mortality; therefore it seems that using the LLN of FEV1/FVC underestimates COPD. In absence of a gold standard of COPD longitudinal research will be necessary to determine which criterion is better and more clinically relevant. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Implications of reversibility testing on prevalence and risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a community study.

            The Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) has defined chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a post-bronchodilator ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) of <0.7. In the first general population based study to apply post-bronchodilator values, the prevalence and predictors of GOLD defined COPD were assessed and the implications of beta2 agonist reversibility testing examined. Based on a random population sample, 2235 subjects (77%) aged 26-82 years performed spirometric tests before and 15 minutes after inhaling 0.3 mg salbutamol. The prevalence of GOLD defined COPD was 7.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.9 to 8.0). This estimate was 27% lower than COPD defined without bronchodilatation. One percent of the population had severe or very severe COPD. Compared with women, men had 3.1 (95% CI 2.1 to 4.8) times higher odds for COPD. Subjects with a smoking history of more than 20 pack years had an odds ratio (OR) of 6.2 (95% CI 3.4 to 11.0) for COPD relative to never-smokers, while subjects older than 75 years had an OR of 18.0 (95% CI 9.2 to 35.0) relative to those below 45 years. Subjects with primary education only had an OR of 2.8 (95% CI 1.4 to 5.3) compared with those with university education. Subjects with body mass index (BMI) <20 kg/m2 were more likely than subjects with BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2 to have COPD (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 5.3). The adjusted proportion of COPD attributable to smoking was 68%. These results indicate that community programmes on prevention of COPD should focus on anti-smoking, nutritional aspects, and socioeconomic conditions. The effect of beta2 reversibility testing on prevalence estimates of COPD was substantial.
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              Risk of COPD with obstruction in active smokers with normal spirometry and reduced diffusion capacity.

              Smokers are assessed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using spirometry, with COPD defined by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) as airflow limitation that is not fully reversible with bronchodilators. There is a subset of smokers with normal spirometry (by GOLD criteria), who have a low diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO), a parameter linked to emphysema and small airway disease. The natural history of these "normal spirometry/low DLCO" smokers is unknown.From a cohort of 1570 smokers in the New York City metropolitian area, all of whom had normal spirometry, two groups were randomly selected for lung function follow-up: smokers with normal spirometry/normal DLCO (n=59) and smokers with normal spirometry/low DLCO (n=46). All had normal history, physical examination, complete blood count, urinalysis, HIV status, α1-antitrypsin level, chest radiography, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC ratio and total lung capacity. Throughout the study, all continued to be active smokers.In the normal spirometry/normal DLCO group assessed over 45±20 months, 3% developed GOLD-defined COPD. In contrast, in the normal spirometry/low DLCO group, followed over 41±31 months, 22% developed GOLD-defined COPD.Despite appearing "normal" according to GOLD, smokers with normal spirometry but low DLCO are at significant risk of developing COPD with obstruction to airflow.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JAMA
                JAMA
                American Medical Association (AMA)
                0098-7484
                June 25 2019
                June 25 2019
                : 321
                : 24
                : 2412
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Division of Infection, Immunity, and Respiratory Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
                [2 ]North West Lung Centre, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Institute of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, Copenhagen University, Denmark
                [4 ]Medical Department, Respiratory Section, Herlev-Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University, Herlev, Denmark.
                Article
                10.1001/jama.2019.6584
                © 2019

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