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      Distribution and characteristics of COPD phenotypes – results from the Polish sub-cohort of the POPE study

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          This study aimed to examine the distribution of predefined phenotypes, demographic data, clinical outcomes, and treatment of patients who were included in the Polish cohort of the Phenotypes of COPD in Central and Eastern Europe (POPE) study.

          Patients and methods

          This was a sub-analysis of the data from the Polish cohort of the POPE study, an international, multicenter, observational cross-sectional survey of COPD patients in Central and Eastern European countries. The study included patients aged >40 years, with a confirmed diagnosis of COPD, and absence of exacerbation for at least 4 weeks before study inclusion. A total of seven Polish centers participated in the study.


          Among the 430 Polish COPD patients enrolled in the study, 61.6% were non-exacerbators (NON-AE), 25.3% were frequent exacerbators with chronic bronchitis (AE CB), 7.9% were frequent exacerbators without chronic bronchitis (AE NON-CB), and 5.1% met the definition of asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS). There were statistically significant differences among these phenotypes in terms of symptom load, lung function, comorbidities, and treatment. Patients with the AE CB phenotype were most symptomatic with worse lung function, and more frequently reported anxiety and depression. Patients with the ACOS phenotype were significantly younger and were diagnosed with COPD earlier than those with other COPD phenotypes; those with the ACOS phenotype were also more often atopic and obese.


          There is significant heterogeneity among COPD patients in the Polish population in terms of phenotype and clinical outcome. The non-exacerbator phenotype is observed most frequently in Poland, while the frequent exacerbator with chronic bronchitis phenotype is the most symptomatic.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Biomass fuels and respiratory diseases: a review of the evidence.

          Globally, about 50% of all households and 90% of rural households use solid fuels (coal and biomass) as the main domestic source of energy, thus exposing approximately 50% of the world population-close to 3 billion people-to the harmful effects of these combustion products. There is strong evidence that acute respiratory infections in children and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in women are associated with indoor biomass smoke. Lung cancer in women has been clearly associated with household coal use. Other conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in men and tuberculosis could be also associated but evidence is scarce. According to estimates of the World Health Organization, more than 1.6 million deaths and over 38.5 million disability-adjusted life-years can be attributable to indoor smoke from solid fuels affecting mainly children and women. Interventions to suppress or reduce indoor exposure include behavior changes, improvements of household ventilation, improvements of stoves, and, outstandingly, transitions to better and cleaner fuels. These changes face personal and local beliefs and economic and sociocultural conditions. In addition, selection of fuels should consider cost, sustainability, and protection of the environment. Consequently, complex solutions need to be locally adapted, and involve the commitment and active participation of governments, scientific societies, nongovernmental organizations, and the general community.
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            Increased risk of exacerbation and hospitalization in subjects with an overlap phenotype: COPD-asthma.

            Several COPD phenotypes have been described; the COPD-asthma overlap is one of the most recognized. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of three subgroups (asthma, COPD, and COPD-asthma overlap) in the Latin American Project for the Investigation of Obstructive Lung Disease (PLATINO) study population, to describe their main characteristics, and to determine the association of the COPD-asthma overlap group with exacerbations, hospitalizations, limitations due to physical health, and perception of general health status (GHS). The PLATINO study is a multicenter population-based survey carried out in five Latin American cities. Outcomes were self-reported exacerbations (defined by deterioration of breathing symptoms that affected usual daily activities or caused missed work), hospitalizations due to exacerbations, physical health limitations, and patients' perception of their GHS obtained by questionnaire. Subjects were classified in three specific groups: COPD--a postbronchodilator (post-BD) FEV₁/FVC ratio of < 0.70; asthma--presence of wheezing in the last year and a minimum post-BD increase in FEV₁ or FVC of 12% and 200 mL; and overlap COPD-asthma--the combination of the two. Out of 5,044 subjects, 767 were classified as having COPD (12%), asthma (1.7%), and COPD-asthma overlap (1.8%). Subjects with COPD-asthma overlap had more respiratory symptoms, had worse lung function, used more respiratory medication, had more hospitalization and exacerbations, and had worse GHS. After adjusting for confounders, the COPD-asthma overlap was associated with higher risks for exacerbations (prevalence ratio [PR], 2.11; 95% CI, 1.08-4.12), hospitalizations (PR, 4.11; 95% CI, 1.45-11.67), and worse GHS (PR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.18-1.85) compared with those with COPD. The coexisting COPD-asthma phenotype is possibly associated with increased disease severity.
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              Reduction of exacerbations by the PDE4 inhibitor roflumilast - the importance of defining different subsets of patients with COPD

              Background As chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease it is unlikely that all patients will benefit equally from a given therapy. Roflumilast, an oral, once-daily phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, has been shown to improve lung function in moderate and severe COPD but its effect on exacerbations in unselected populations was inconclusive. This led to the question of whether a responsive subset existed that could be investigated further. Methods The datasets of two previous replicate, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group studies (oral roflumilast 500 μg or placebo once daily for 52 weeks) that were inconclusive regarding exacerbations were combined in a post-hoc, pooled analysis to determine whether roflumilast reduced exacerbations in a more precisely defined patient subset. Results The pooled analysis included 2686 randomized patients. Roflumilast significantly decreased exacerbations by 14.3% compared with placebo (p = 0.026). Features associated with this reduction were: presence of chronic bronchitis with or without emphysema (26.2% decrease, p = 0.001), presence of cough (20.9% decrease, p = 0.006), presence of sputum (17.8% decrease, p = 0.03), and concurrent use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS; 18.8% decrease, p = 0.014). The incidence of adverse events was similar with roflumilast and placebo (81.5% vs 80.1%), but more patients in the roflumilast group had events assessed as likely or definitely related to the study drug (21.5% vs 8.3%). Conclusions This post-hoc, pooled analysis showed that roflumilast reduced exacerbation frequency in a subset of COPD patients whose characteristics included chronic bronchitis with/without concurrent ICS. These observations aided the design of subsequent phase 3 studies that prospectively confirmed the reduction in exacerbations with roflumilast treatment. Trials registration identifiers: NCT00076089 and NCT00430729.

                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
                17 May 2018
                : 13
                : 1613-1621
                [1 ]Department of Pulmonology, II Chair of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland
                [2 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
                [3 ]Department of Allergology and Pneumonology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
                [4 ]Department of Lung Diseases and Respiratory Failure, Regional Center of Pulmonology, Bydgoszcz, Poland
                [5 ]Department of Pulmonology, Allergology and Respiratory Oncology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland
                [6 ]Department of Pneumology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
                [7 ]Department of Lung Diseases, Regional Hospital Center Jelenia Góra, Jelenia Góra, Poland
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Aleksander Kania, Department of Pulmonology, II Chair of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Skawinska 8, 31-066 Kraków, Poland, Tel +48 12 430 5266, Fax +48 12 432 5600, Email aleksanderkania@
                © 2018 Kania 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.

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