Randomized interventional trials generally recruit highly selected patients. In contrast, long-term, noninterventional studies can reflect standard of care of real-life populations. DACCORD (Die ambulante Versorgung mit langwirksamen Bronchodilatatoren: COPD-Register in Deutschland [Outpatient Care With Long-Acting Bronchodilators: COPD Registry in Germany]) is an ongoing observational study, conducted in primary and secondary care in Germany, aiming to describe the impact of disease and treatments on real-life patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Patients had a clinical and spirometry diagnosis of COPD, were aged ≥40 years, and were initiating or changing COPD maintenance medication. The only exclusion criteria were asthma and participation in a randomized clinical trial. Exacerbation data were collected every 3 months. COPD medication, COPD Assessment Test, and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1) were recorded at the end of the 1 year period.
In the 6 months prior to baseline, 26.5% of the 3,974 patients experienced ≥1 exacerbation, compared with 26.1% over the 1-year follow-up (annualized rate 0.384). Importantly, only previous exacerbations and not poor lung function alone predicted an increased exacerbation risk. There was a general shift to lower disease severity from baseline to 1 year, predominantly as a consequence of a lower proportion of patients considered at high risk due to exacerbations. COPD Assessment Test mean change from baseline was −1.9, with 48.9% of patients reporting a clinically relevant improvement. Overall persistence to medication was high, with 77.2% of patients still receiving the same class of medication at 1 year.