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      International Journal of COPD (submit here)

      This international, peer-reviewed Open Access journal by Dove Medical Press focuses on pathophysiological processes underlying Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) interventions, patient focused education, and self-management protocols. Sign up for email alerts here.

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      Social economic costs of COPD in Extremadura (Spain): an observational study


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          COPD has been associated with a high number of comorbidities and a relatively high level of health care resource utilization. This study aimed to estimate the social economic impact of COPD in the autonomous community of Extremadura (Spain) in 2015.

          Patients and methods

          This is a retrospective observational study carried out using a representative sample of patients diagnosed with COPD in Extremadura. Sociodemographic data, data on health care resource utilization, formal and informal care received by the patients, and loss of labor productivity in the last 12 months were collected through an electronic data collection platform. Direct health care costs were estimated using the bottom-up approach, costs of informal care were assessed using the substitution method, and labor productivity losses were calculated using the human capital method.


          A sample of 386 patients was obtained (mean age: 71.8±10.3 years, males: 76.2%). The results show an average annual cost per patient of 3,077 euros. Direct health care costs represented 43.8% (1,645 euros), direct non-health care costs amounted to 38.3% (1,440 euros), and labor productivity losses represented 17.9% (672 euros) of the average annual cost. The total annual cost of patients with COPD in Extremadura reached 36.2 million euros in 2015.


          COPD poses a significant burden for the health care system and the society of Extremadura. The implementation of preventive and control measures could result in a substantial reduction in the economic impact.

          Most cited references21

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          Prevalence of COPD in Spain: impact of undiagnosed COPD on quality of life and daily life activities.

          This study aimed to determine the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Spain and identify the level of undiagnosed disease and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL) and activities of daily living (ADL). A population-based sample of 4274 adults aged 40-80 years was surveyed. They were invited to answer a questionnaire and undergo prebrochodilator and postbronchodilator spirometry. COPD was defined as a postbronchodilator FEV(1)/FVC (forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity) ratio of <0.70. For 3802 participants with good-quality postbronchodilator spirometry, the overall prevalence of COPD was 10.2% (95% CI 9.2% to 11.1%) and was higher in men (15.1%) than in women (5.6%). The prevalence of COPD stage II or higher was 4.4% (95%CI; 3.8%-5.1%). The prevalence of COPD increased with age and with cigarette smoking and was higher in those with a low educational level. A previous diagnosis of COPD was reported by only 27% of those with COPD. Diagnosed patients had more severe disease, higher cumulative tobacco consumption and more severely impaired HRQL compared with undiagnosed subjects. However, even patients with undiagnosed COPD stage I+ already showed impairment in HRQL and in some aspects of ADL compared with participants without COPD. The prevalence of COPD in individuals between 40 and 80 years of age in Spain is 10.2% and increases with age, tobacco consumption and lower educational levels. The rate of diagnosised COPD is very high and undiagnosed individuals with COPD already have a significant impairment in HRQL and ADL.
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            Geographic variations in prevalence and underdiagnosis of COPD: results of the IBERPOC multicentre epidemiological study.

            To ascertain the prevalence, diagnostic level, and treatment of COPD in Spain through a multicenter study comprising seven different geographic areas. This is an epidemiologic, multicenter, population-based study conducted in seven areas of Spain. A total of 4,035 men and women (age range, 40 to 69 years) who were randomly selected from a target population of 236,412 subjects participated in the study. Eligible subjects answered the European Commission for Steel and Coal questionnaire. Spirometry was performed, followed by a bronchodilator test when bronchial obstruction was present. The prevalence of COPD was 9.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.1 to 10.2%), 15% in smokers (95% CI, 12.8 to 17.1%), 12.8% in ex-smokers (95% CI, 10.7 to 14.8%), and 4.1% in nonsmokers (95% CI, 3.3 to 5.1%). The prevalence in men was 14.3% (95% CI, 12.8 to 15. 9%) and 3.9% in women (95% CI, 3.1 to 4.8%). Marked differences were observed between sexes in smoking; the percentage of nonsmokers was 23% in men and 76.3% in women (p 60 years old, had higher educational levels, had > 15 pack-year smoking history, or had symptoms of chronic bronchitis. COPD is a very frequent disease in Spain, and presents significant geographic variations and a very low level of previous diagnosis and treatment, even in the most advanced cases.
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              Costs of chronic bronchitis and COPD: a 1-year follow-up study.

              This study attempted to determine the total direct costs derived from the management of chronic bronchitis and COPD in an ambulatory setting through a prospective, 1-year, follow-up study. A total of 1,510 patients with chronic bronchitis and COPD were recruited from 268 general practices located throughout Spain. Patients were followed up for 1 year. All direct medical costs incurred by the cohort and related to their respiratory disease were quantified. Costs were calculated for patients with confirmed COPD according to the degree of severity of airflow obstruction. The global mean direct yearly cost of chronic bronchitis and COPD was $1,876. The cost generated by patients with COPD was $1,760, but the cost of severe COPD ($2,911) was almost double that of mild COPD ($1,484). Hospitalization costs represented 43.8% of costs, drug acquisition costs were 40.8%, and clinic visits and diagnostic tests represented only 15.4% of costs. This is the first prospective follow-up study on a large cohort of patients with chronic bronchitis and COPD aimed at quantifying direct medical costs under usual clinical practice in the community. Costs of chronic bronchitis and COPD were almost twofold those reported for asthma. Patterns of COPD management in the community differ from those recommended in guidelines. COPD represents a great health-care burden in developed countries, and aging of the population and continuing smoking habits predict that it will continue to do so in the future.

                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 August 2018
                : 13
                : 2501-2514
                [1 ]Weber Foundation, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain, maria.merino@ 123456weber.org.es
                [2 ]Department of Economic Analysis and Finances, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain
                [3 ]Extremadura Health Service, Mérida, Badajoz, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: María Merino, Fundación Weber, Calle Norias, 123, 28221 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain, Tel +34 91 6393 824, Fax +34 91 6346 643, Email maria.merino@ 123456weber.org.es
                © 2018 Merino et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). 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.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine
                copd,social costs,health care resource utilization,informal care,labor productivity losses


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