Meng-Jer Hsieh 1 , 2 , Shu-Yi Huang 1 , Tsung-Ming Yang 1 , Chi-Wei Tao 3 , Shih-Lung Cheng 4 , Chao-Hsien Lee 5 , Ping-Hung Kuo 6 , Yao-Kuang Wu 7 , 8 , Ning-Hung Chen 9 , Wu-Huei Hsu 10 , Jeng-Yuan Hsu 11 , Ming-Shian Lin 12 , Chin-Chou Wang 13 , Yu-Feng Wei 14 , Ying-Huang Tsai 1 , 2
25 September 2018
This nationwide study was performed to evaluate the evolution of distributions of patients with COPD according to the 2011 and 2017 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (GOLD) guidelines and to assess the concordance between the prescribed medications and the pharmacological management recommended by the two distinct classification systems in Taiwan.
Data were retrospectively retrieved from stable COPD patients in 11 participating hospitals across Taiwan. Patients were grouped according to GOLD 2011 and 2017 guidelines respectively. Definitions of undertreatment and overtreatment were based on the pharmacological recommendations in the individual guidelines.
A total of 1,053 COPD patients were included. The percentages of patients in GOLD 2011 groups A, B, C and D were 18.4%, 40.6%, 6.7% and 34.2%, respectively. When reclassified according to the GOLD 2017, the percentages of group A and B increased to 23.3% and 63.2%, and groups C and D decreased to 1.9% and 11.6%, respectively. Up to 67% of patients in GOLD 2011 groups C and D were reclassified to GOLD 2017 groups A and B. The pharmacological concordance rate was 60.9% for GOLD 2011 and decreased to 44.9% for GOLD 2017. Overtreatment was found in 29.5% of patients according to GOLD 2011 and the rate increased to 46.1% when classified by the GOLD 2017. The major cause of overtreatment was unnecessary inhaled corticosteroids and the main cause of undertreatment was a lack of maintenance long-acting bronchodilators.
The distribution of COPD patients in Taiwan was more uneven with the GOLD 2017 than with the GOLD 2011. A pharmacological discordance to the guidelines was identified. Updated guidelines with reclassification of COPD patients resulted in more discordance between prescribed medications and the guidelines. Physicians should make proper adjustments of the prescriptions according to the updated guidelines to ensure the mostly appropriate treatment for COPD patients.