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      Mortality in COPD patients according to clinical phenotypes

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          Grouping COPD subjects into clinical phenotypes might be useful for the management of the disease, but the clinical implications of such classification are still not totally clear, especially regarding prognosis. The primary objective of this study was to assess whether the mortality rates were different between four predefined clinical phenotypes.

          Patients and methods

          This is a retrospective, observational study carried out at the COPD clinic of a University Hospital. A total of 891 COPD patients were classified, according to the Spanish COPD guidelines, into the following four phenotypes: asthma–COPD overlap (ACO; 75 subjects), nonexacerbator (NONEX; 531 subjects), exacerbator with chronic bronchitis (EXCB; 194 subjects), and exacerbator with emphysema (EXEMPH; 91 subjects). We compared the mortality outcomes between the phenotypes.


          After a follow-up of 48.4±25.2 months, there were 194 deaths (21.8%). There were significant differences in all-cause mortality between phenotypes. The ACO phenotype had the best long-term prognosis, whereas EXEMPH had the highest risk of death. NONEX and EXCB mortality figures were in between the other two groups. We also found some differences in the causes of death, and patients with EXEMPH were at a higher risk of dying because of COPD itself. The differences in mortality did not seem related to the classification into phenotypes in itself but to disparities in COPD severity and comorbidity load between groups.


          Classifying COPD patients according to several predefined clinical phenotypes can identify clusters of subjects with different mortality outcomes. Some phenotypes are associated with a specific cause of death. The mechanisms that underlie these differences seem to be related to COPD severity and comorbidities.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Severe exacerbations and BODE index: two independent risk factors for death in male COPD patients.

          1) To determine whether severe exacerbation of COPD is a BODE index independent risk factor for death; 2) whether the combined application of exacerbations and BODE (e-BODE index), offers greater predictive capacity than BODE alone or can simplify the model, by replacing the exercise capacity (BODEx index). A prospective study was made of a cohort of COPD patients. In addition to calculation of the BODE index we register frequency of exacerbations. An analysis was made of all-cause mortality, evaluating the predictive capacity of the exacerbations after adjusting for the BODE. These variables were also used to construct two new indexes: e-BODE and BODEx. The study included 185 patients with a mean age of 71+/-9 years, and FEV(1)% 47+/-17%. Severe exacerbation appeared as an independent adverse prognostic variable of BODE index. For each new exacerbation the adjusted mortality risk increased 1.14-fold (95% CI: 1.04-1.25). However, the e-BODE index (C statistic: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67-0.86) didn't improve prognostic capacity of BODE index (C statistic: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.66-0.84) (p=NS). An interesting finding was that BODEx index (C statistic: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.65-0.83) had similar prognostic capacity than BODE index. Severe exacerbations of COPD imply an increased mortality risk that is independent of baseline severity of the disease as measured by the BODE index. The combined application of both parameters (e-BODE index) didn't improve the predictive capacity, but on replacing exacerbation with exercise capacity the multidimensional grading system is simplified without loss of predictive capacity.
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            Defining the Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome in a COPD Cohort.

            Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS) has been recently described by international guidelines. A stepwise approach to diagnosis using usual features of both diseases is recommended although its clinical application is difficult.
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              Spanish COPD Guidelines (GesEPOC): pharmacological treatment of stable COPD. Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery.

              Recognizing the clinical heterogeneity of COPD suggests a specific therapeutic approach directed by the so-called clinical phenotypes of the disease. The Spanish COPD Guidelines (GesEPOC) is an initiative of SEPAR, which, together with the scientific societies involved in COPD patient care, and the Spanish Patient Forum, has developed these new clinical practice guidelines. This present article describes the severity classification and the pharmacological treatment of stable COPD. GesEPOC identifies four clinical phenotypes with differential treatment: non-exacerbator, mixed COPD-asthma, exacerbator with emphysema and exacerbator with chronic bronchitis. Pharmacological treatment of COPD is based on bronchodilation in addition to other drugs depending on the clinical phenotype and severity. Severity is established by the BODE/BODEx multidimensional scales. Severity can also be approximated by assessing airflow obstruction, dyspnea, level of physical activity and history of exacerbations. GesEPOC is a new, more individualized approach to COPD treatment according to the clinical characteristics of the patients. Copyright © 2012 SEPAR. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

                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
                01 May 2018
                : 13
                : 1433-1439
                Respiratory Medicine Service, University Hospital Lucus Augusti, Lugo, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Rafael Golpe, Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti, Unidad Administrativa 4-A, c/Dr Ulises Romero 1, 27002 Lugo, Spain, Tel +34 982 29 6859, Email rafael.golpe.gomez@
                © 2018 Golpe 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.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                mortality, copd, phenotypes


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