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      COPD exacerbations associated with the modified Medical Research Council scale and COPD assessment test among Humana Medicare members

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          The Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines recommend assessment of COPD severity, which includes symptomatology using the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) or COPD assessment test (CAT) score in addition to the degree of airflow obstruction and exacerbation history. While there is great interest in incorporating symptomatology, little is known about how patient reported symptoms are associated with future exacerbations and exacerbation-related costs.


          The mMRC and CAT were mailed to a randomly selected sample of 4,000 Medicare members aged >40 years, diagnosed with COPD (≥2 encounters with International Classification of Dis eases-9th Edition Clinical Modification: 491.xx, 492.xx, 496.xx, ≥30 days apart). The exacerbations and exacerbation-related costs were collected from claims data during 365-day post-survey after exclusion of members lost to follow-up or with cancer, organ transplant, or pregnancy. A logistic regression model estimated the predictive value of exacerbation history and symptomatology on exacerbations during follow-up, and a generalized linear model with log link and gamma distribution estimated the predictive value of exacerbation history and symptomatology on exacerbation-related costs.


          Among a total of 1,159 members who returned the survey, a 66% (765) completion rate was observed. Mean (standard deviation) age among survey completers was 72.0 (8.3), 53.7% female and 91.2% white. Odds ratios for having post-index exacerbations were 3.06, 4.55, and 16.28 times for members with 1, 2, and ≥3 pre-index exacerbations, respectively, relative to members with 0 pre-index exacerbations ( P<0.001 for all). The odds ratio for high vs low symptoms using CAT was 2.51 ( P<0.001). Similarly, exacerbation-related costs were 73% higher with each incremental pre-index exacerbation, and over four fold higher for high-vs low-symptom patients using CAT (each P<0.001). The symptoms using mMRC were not statistically significant in either model ( P>0.10).


          The patient-reported symptoms contribute important information related to future COPD exacerbations and exacerbation-related costs beyond that explained by exacerbation history.

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          Most cited references 29

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          The economic impact of exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and exacerbation definition: a review.

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) poses a significant economic burden on society, and a substantial portion is related to exacerbations of COPD. A literature review of the direct and indirect costs of COPD exacerbations was performed. A systematic search of the MEDLINE database from 1998-2008 was conducted and supplemented with searches of conference abstracts and article bibliographies. Articles that contained cost data related to COPD exacerbations were selected for in-depth review. Eleven studies examining healthcare costs associated with COPD exacerbations were identified. The estimated costs of exacerbations vary widely across studies: $88 to $7,757 per exacerbation (2007 US dollars). The largest component of the total costs of COPD exacerbations was typically hospitalization. Costs were highly correlated with exacerbation severity. Indirect costs have rarely been measured. The wide variability in the cost estimates reflected cross-study differences in geographic locations, treatment patterns, and patient populations. Important methodological differences also existed across studies. Researchers have used different definitions of exacerbation (e.g., symptom- versus event-based definitions), different tools to identify and measure exacerbations, and different classification systems to define exacerbation severity. Unreported exacerbations are common and may influence the long-term costs of exacerbations. Measurement of indirect costs will provide a more comprehensive picture of the burden of exacerbations. Evaluation of pharmacoeconomic analyses would be aided by the use of more consistent and comprehensive approaches to defining and measuring COPD exacerbations.
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            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults--United States, 2011.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of progressive, debilitating respiratory conditions, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, characterized by difficulty breathing, lung airflow limitations, cough, and other symptoms. COPD often is associated with a history of cigarette smoking and is the primary contributor to mortality caused by chronic lower respiratory diseases, which became the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2008. Despite this substantial disease burden, state-level data on the prevalence of COPD and associated health-care resource use in the United States have not been available for all states. To assess the state-level prevalence of COPD among adults, the impact of COPD on their quality of life, and the use of health-care resources by those with COPD, CDC analyzed data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Among BRFSS respondents in all 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), and Puerto Rico, 6.3% reported having been told by a physician or other health professional that they had COPD. In addition to the screening question asked of all respondents, 21 states, DC, and Puerto Rico elected to include an optional COPD module. Among persons who reported having COPD and completed the optional module, 76.0% reported that they had been given a diagnostic breathing test, 64.2% felt that shortness of breath impaired their quality of life, and 55.6% were taking at least one daily medication for their COPD. Approximately 43.2% of them reported visiting a physician for COPD-related symptoms in the previous 12 months, and 17.7% had either visited an emergency department or been admitted to a hospital for their COPD in the previous 12 months. Continued surveillance for COPD, particularly at state and local levels, is critical to 1) identify communities that likely will benefit most from awareness and outreach campaigns and 2) evaluate the effectiveness of public health efforts related to the prevention, treatment, and control of the disease.
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              COPD exacerbations: definitions and classifications.

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is defined independently of exacerbations, which are largely a feature of moderate-to-severe disease. This article is the result of a workshop that tried to define exacerbations of COPD for use in clinical, pharmacological and epidemiological studies. The conclusions represent the consensus of those present. This review describes definitions, ascertainment, severity assessments, duration and frequency, using varying sources of data including direct patient interview, healthcare databases and symptom diaries kept by patients in studies. The best general definition of a COPD exacerbation is the following: an exacerbation of COPD is a sustained worsening of the patient's condition, from the stable state and beyond normal day-to-day variations that is acute in onset and may warrant additional treatment in a patient with underlying COPD. A more specific definition for studies where a bacteriological cause of exacerbation is being studied is included, as well as simpler definitions for retrospective identification from database sources. Prospective diary card assessments are best recorded as changes from an agreed baseline, rather than absolute symptom severities. Diary cards identify many unreported exacerbations, which on average have similar severities to reported exacerbations. A scale for exacerbation severity is proposed that incorporates in- and outpatient assessments. Exacerbation duration, which also relates to severity, is defined from diary card reports. Healthcare utilisation is not an adequate substitute for severity, depending on many unrelated social and comorbidity factors. It is an outcome in its own right.

                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
                14 January 2016
                : 11
                : 111-121
                [1 ]Comprehensive Health Insights, Inc., Humana Inc., Louisville, KY
                [2 ]Outcomes and Evidence, Global Health & Value, Pfizer Inc., New York, NY
                [3 ]Statistical Center for Outcomes, Real-World and Aggregate Data, Global Innovative Pharma Business, Pfizer Inc., New York, NY
                [4 ]Global Medical Development, Global Innovative Pharma Business, Pfizer Inc., Groton, CT, KY
                [5 ]Retail Strategy & Execution, Humana Inc., Louisville, KY
                [6 ]Global Medical Affairs, Global Innovative Pharma Business, Pfizer Inc., New York, NY, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Margaret K Pasquale, Comprehensive Health Insights, Inc., Humana Inc., 515 West Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202, USA, Tel +1 502 301 2747, Email mpasquale@
                © 2016 Pasquale et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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