24 August 2018
No observational studies have evaluated the “real-world” effectiveness of dual bronchodilation comprising a long-acting β 2-agonist plus a long-acting muscarinic antagonist vs that of triple therapy (long-acting β 2-agonist plus long-acting muscarinic antagonist plus inhaled corticosteroid) in COPD.
DACCORD is a non-interventional, observational clinical study that recruited patients following COPD maintenance therapy initiation or change in maintenance therapy between or within therapeutic class. Given the non-interventional nature of the study, the decision to initiate or change medication had to be made by the patients’ physicians prior to inclusion in DACCORD. We used a matched-pairs analysis to compare disease progression in two patient groups: those receiving dual bronchodilation vs those receiving triple therapy (each group n=1,046).
In two subgroups of patients matched according to a broad range of demographic and disease characteristics, over 1 year, fewer patients receiving dual bronchodilation exacerbated than those receiving triple therapy (15.5% vs 26.6%; P<0.001), with a greater improvement from baseline in COPD Assessment Test total score at 1 year (mean±SD −2.9±5.8 vs −1.4±5.5; P<0.001). When analyzed according to prior therapy, the highest rate of exacerbations was in patients on triple therapy prior to the study who remained on triple therapy. Those changing from mono-bronchodilator to dual bronchodilation had the greatest COPD Assessment Test total score improvement.
In this “real-life” cohort of patients with COPD, most of whom had not exacerbated in the 6 months prior to entry, triple therapy did not seem to improve outcomes compared with dual bronchodilation in terms of either exacerbations or health status. Our analyses clearly demonstrate the potential impact of prior medication on study results, something that should be taken into account when interpreting the results even of controlled clinical trials.