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      Clinical burden of illness among patients with severe eosinophilic COPD

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          Background: There are currently limited real-world data on the clinical burden of illness in patients with COPD who continue to exacerbate despite receiving triple therapy. The aim of this study was to compare the burden of COPD in patients with and without a phenotype characterized by a high blood eosinophil count and high risk of exacerbations while receiving triple therapy.

          Methods: This retrospective cohort study (GSK ID: 207323/PRJ2647) used UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink records linked with Hospital Episode Statistics. Eligible patients had a COPD medical diagnosis code recorded between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2014, and a blood eosinophil count recorded on/after that date. Patients were followed from index date (first qualifying blood eosinophil count) until December 31, 2015. The study phenotype was defined as ≥2 moderate/≥1 severe acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) in the year prior to the index date, current use of multiple-inhaler triple therapy (MITT), and blood eosinophil count ≥150 cells/µL on the index date. Outcomes measured during follow-up included moderate/severe AECOPDs, severe AECOPDs, all-cause mortality, primary care (GP) clinical consultations, and non-AECOPD-related unscheduled hospitalizations.

          Results: Of 46,814 patients eligible for inclusion, 2512 (5.4%) met the definition of the study phenotype. Adjusted rate ratios (95% CI) of moderate/severe AECOPDs and all-cause mortality in patients with the study phenotype versus those without were 2.32 (2.22, 2.43) and 1.26 (1.16, 1.37), respectively. For GP visits and non-AECOPD-related unscheduled hospitalizations, adjusted rate ratios (95% CI), in patients with the study phenotype versus those without, were 1.09 (1.05, 1.12) and 1.31 (1.18, 1.46), respectively.

          Conclusion: Patients with COPD and raised blood eosinophil counts who continue to exacerbate despite MITT represent a distinct subgroup who experience substantial clinical burden and account for high healthcare expenditure. There is a need for more effective management and therapeutic options for these patients.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Eosinophilic airway inflammation in COPD

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common condition and a major cause of mortality. COPD is characterized by irreversible airflow obstruction. The physiological abnormalities observed in COPD are due to a combination of emphysema and obliteration of the small airways in association with airway inflammation. The predominant cells involved in this inflammatory response are CD8+ lymphocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages. Although eosinophilic airway inflammation is usually considered a feature of asthma, it has been demonstrated in large and small airway tissue samples and in 20%–40% of induced sputum samples from patients with stable COPD. This airway eosinophilia is increased in exacerbations. Thus, modifying eosinophilic inflammation may be a potential therapeutic target in COPD. Eosinophilic airway inflammation is resistant to inhaled corticosteroid therapy, but does respond to systemic corticosteroid therapy, and the degree of response is related to the intensity of the eosinophilic inflammation. In COPD, targeting treatment to normalize the sputum eosinophilia reduced the number of hospital admissions. Whether controlling eosinophilic inflammation in COPD patients with an airway eosinophilia will modify disease progression and possibly alter mortality is unknown, but warrants further investigation.
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            Blood eosinophils as a marker of response to inhaled corticosteroids in COPD.

            Identification of a biomarker that predicts response to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) would help evaluate the risk/benefit profile of ICS in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and guide treatment.The ISOLDE study randomised 751 patients (mean post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) 1.4 L: 50% predicted normal) to fluticasone propionate 500 μg twice daily or placebo for 3 years, finding no difference in FEV1 rate of decline between treatments (p=0.16) and a significant reduction in median exacerbation rate with fluticasone propionate versus placebo (p=0.026). We re-analysed ISOLDE results by baseline blood eosinophil count to investigate whether eosinophil level predicts ICS benefit.Patients with eosinophils <2% (n=456) had a similar rate of post-bronchodilator FEV1 decline with fluticasone propionate as placebo (-2.9 mL·year(-1); p=0.688). With eosinophils ≥2% (n=214), the rate of decline decreased by 33.9 mL·year(-1) with fluticasone propionate versus placebo (p=0.003). Exacerbation rate reduction on ICS for fluticasone propionate versus placebo was higher in the eosinophil <2% group compared with the ≥2% group; time-to-first moderate/severe exacerbation was not different between treatments in either group.A baseline blood eosinophil count of ≥2% identifies a group of COPD patients with slower rates of decline in FEV1 when treated with ICS: prospective testing of this hypothesis is now warranted.
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              Validation of the Recording of Acute Exacerbations of COPD in UK Primary Care Electronic Healthcare Records

              Background Acute Exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) identified from electronic healthcare records (EHR) are important for research, public health and to inform healthcare utilisation and service provision. However, there is no standardised method of identifying AECOPD in UK EHR. We aimed to validate the recording of AECOPD in UK EHR. Methods We randomly selected 1385 patients with COPD from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We selected dates of possible AECOPD based on 15 different algorithms between January 2004 and August 2013. Questionnaires were sent to GPs asking for confirmation of their patients’ AECOPD on the dates identified and for any additional relevant information. Responses were reviewed independently by two respiratory physicians. Positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity were calculated. Results The response rate was 71.3%. AECOPD diagnostic codes, lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) codes, and prescriptions of antibiotics and oral corticosteroids (OCS) together for 5–14 days had a high PPV (>75%) for identifying AECOPD. Symptom-based algorithms and prescription of antibiotics or OCS alone had lower PPVs (60–75%). A combined strategy of antibiotic and OCS prescriptions for 5–14 days, or LRTI or AECOPD code resulted in a PPV of 85.5% (95% CI, 82.7–88.3%) and a sensitivity of 62.9% (55.4–70.4%). Conclusion Using a combination of diagnostic and therapy codes, the validity of AECOPD identified from EHR can be high. These strategies are useful for understanding health-care utilisation for AECOPD, informing service provision and for researchers. These results highlight the need for common coding strategies to be adopted in primary care to allow easy and accurate identification of events.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                28 March 2019
                : 14
                : 741-755
                [1 ]Respiratory Epidemiology, GSK , Uxbridge, UK
                [2 ]Respiratory Medical Franchise, GSK , Uxbridge, NC, USA
                [3 ]Patient Centered Outcomes and Value Evidence and Outcomes, GSK , Collegeville, PA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hana MüllerováRespiratory Epidemiology, GSK , Stockley Park West, 1-3 Ironbridge Road, Uxbridge, MiddlesexUB11 1BT, UKTel +44 208 990 2647Email hanamuellerova@
                © 2019 Müllerová 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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 39, Pages: 15
                Original Research


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