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      Persistent disabling breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          Abstract

          Objective

          To determine the prevalence, change in breathlessness status over time, and risk factors for disabling and persistent disabling breathlessness in relation to treatments in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

          Materials and methods

          Longitudinal analysis of data from the Swedish National Register of COPD with breathlessness measured using modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scores at two subsequent visits. Prevalence of disabling breathlessness (mMRC ≥2 at baseline) and persistent disabling breathlessness (disabling breathlessness at baseline and follow-up) was investigated in relation to COPD treatment. Risk factors for disabling breathlessness, change from non-disabling to disabling breathlessness, and persistent disabling breathlessness were analyzed using multiple logistic regression.

          Results

          A total of 1,689 patients were included in the study with a median follow-up of 12 months (interquartile range: 4 months). Prevalence of disabling breathlessness was 54% at baseline. Persistent disabling breathlessness was present in 43% of patients despite treatment and in 74% of patients despite combined inhaled triple therapy and physiotherapy. Risk factors for disabling breathlessness or change to disabling breathlessness were higher age, lower lung function, frequent exacerbations, obesity, heart failure, depression, and hypoxic respiratory failure (all P<0.05). Persistent disabling breathlessness was associated with lower lung function and ischemic heart disease (all P<0.05).

          Conclusion

          Disabling breathlessness is common in COPD despite treatment, which calls for improved symptomatic treatments and consideration of factors influencing disabling breathlessness. Factors influencing disabling breathlessness should be considered for COPD management.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 28

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          Diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a clinical practice guideline update from the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society.

          This guideline is an official statement of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), American Thoracic Society (ATS), and European Respiratory Society (ERS). It represents an update of the 2007 ACP clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is intended for clinicians who manage patients with COPD. This guideline addresses the value of history and physical examination for predicting airflow obstruction; the value of spirometry for screening or diagnosis of COPD; and COPD management strategies, specifically evaluation of various inhaled therapies (anticholinergics, long-acting β-agonists, and corticosteroids), pulmonary rehabilitation programs, and supplemental oxygen therapy. This guideline is based on a targeted literature update from March 2007 to December 2009 to evaluate the evidence and update the 2007 ACP clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and management of stable COPD. RECOMMENDATION 1: ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS recommend that spirometry should be obtained to diagnose airflow obstruction in patients with respiratory symptoms (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). Spirometry should not be used to screen for airflow obstruction in individuals without respiratory symptoms (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 2: For stable COPD patients with respiratory symptoms and FEV(1) between 60% and 80% predicted, ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS suggest that treatment with inhaled bronchodilators may be used (Grade: weak recommendation, low-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 3: For stable COPD patients with respiratory symptoms and FEV(1) 50% predicted. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 7: ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS recommend that clinicians should prescribe continuous oxygen therapy in patients with COPD who have severe resting hypoxemia (Pao(2) ≤55 mm Hg or Spo(2) ≤88%) (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence).
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            Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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              Effects of opioids on breathlessness and exercise capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A systematic review.

              Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly suffer from breathlessness, deconditioning, and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQL) despite best medical management. Opioids may relieve breathlessness at rest and on exertion in COPD.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                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
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2016
                09 November 2016
                : 11
                : 2805-2812
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Josefin Sundh, Department of Respiratory Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, SE-70182, Örebro, Sweden, Tel +46 702 349 517, Fax +46 19 186526, Email josefin.sundh@ 123456oru.se
                Article
                copd-11-2805
                10.2147/COPD.S119992
                5108478
                © 2016 Sundh and Ekström. 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.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                risk factors, treatment, longitudinal analysis, dyspnea, breathlessness, copd

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