The degree to which symptoms such as dyspnea affect patients with COPD is individualized. To address the gap between clinical symptom measures and self-perceived disease burden, we investigated the symptom status of adult patients with COPD and followed with an administrative claims analysis of health care resource utilization and costs.
This was a hybrid US observational study consisting of a cross-sectional patient survey followed by a retrospective analysis of administrative claims data. The primary COPD symptom measures were the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) Dyspnea scale and the COPD Assessment Test (CAT).
A total of 673 patients completed the survey. Of these, 65% reported mMRC grades 0–1 (low symptomatology) and 35% reported mMRC grades 2–4 (high symptomatology); 25% reported CAT score <10 (low symptomatology) and 75% reported CAT score ≥10 (high symptomatology). More patients with high symptomatology (by either measure) had at least one COPD-related inpatient hospitalization, emergency room visit, physician office visit, or other outpatient services, and filled at least one COPD-related prescription medication vs patients with low symptomatology. COPD-related costs were higher for patients with high symptomatology than patients with low symptomatology. In a multivariate analysis, COPD-related costs were also higher in patients reporting severe symptoms.