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      Causes of death in patients with asthma and asthma–chronic obstructive pulmonary disease overlap syndrome

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          Abstract

          Background

          The administration of inhaled corticosteroids and worldwide usage of several asthma guidelines have improved asthma mortality. Elderly patients with asthma show high mortality rates, and may have several comorbidities, including overlap with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Among patients showing asthma overlapped with COPD (asthma–COPD overlap syndrome; ACOS), mortality is worse than for asthma alone. Therefore, we investigated comorbidities, malignancies, and causes of death in patients with asthma and ACOS.

          Methods

          This was a retrospective study. From January 2000 to March 2012, 650 patients were followed up at Tottori University Hospital. Medical records were reviewed to collect data regarding patient characteristics and comorbidities, and causes of death were recorded for patients who died during the study period.

          Results

          Eighty-seven patients died during the study period. The most frequent cause of death was malignancy. The proportion of malignant disease was 21.7% in all patients, 19.4% in patients with asthma alone, and 32.4% in patients with ACOS. One patient died from an asthma attack during this period.

          Conclusion

          The most frequent cause of death in patients with asthma and ACOS was malignant disease. It is necessary to control not only asthma but also comorbidities in patients with asthma, especially in those with ACOS.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Mortality in COPD: Role of comorbidities.

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents an increasing burden throughout the world. COPD-related mortality is probably underestimated because of the difficulties associated with identifying the precise cause of death. Respiratory failure is considered the major cause of death in advanced COPD. Comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are also major causes and, in mild-to-moderate COPD, are the leading causes of mortality. The links between COPD and these conditions are not fully understood. However, a link through the inflammation pathway has been suggested, as persistent low-grade pulmonary and systemic inflammation, both known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer, are present in COPD independent of cigarette smoking. Lung-specific measurements, such as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)), predict mortality in COPD and in the general population. However, composite tools, such as health-status measurements (e.g. St George's Respiratory Questionnaire) and the BODE index, which incorporates Body mass index, lung function (airflow Obstruction), Dyspnoea and Exercise capacity, predict mortality better than FEV(1) alone. These multidimensional tools may be more valuable because, unlike predictive approaches based on single parameters, they can reflect the range of comorbidities and the complexity of underlying mechanisms associated with COPD. The current paper reviews the role of comorbidities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality, the putative underlying pathogenic link between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and comorbid conditions (i.e. inflammation), and the tools used to predict chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality.
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            Standards for the diagnosis and care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. This official statement of the American Thoracic Society was adopted by the ATS Board of Directors, November 1986.

             APA Standards (1987)
            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are the major causes of pulmonary disability in the United States, with at least 10 million Americans suffering form COPD and up to 5% of the population afflicted with asthma. Over the past 20 years, major strides have been made in our understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders, although there are still large gaps in our knowledge. While a number of position papers and statements have been promulgated by the American Thoracic Society concerning various aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of COPD and asthma, it was felt that a review of the overall topic was timely. This statement represents the combined efforts of a Task Group appointed by the Scientific Assemble of Clinical Problems of the American Thoracic Society to accomplish this task. Clearly, we could not cover every aspect of this broad topic nor even provide a detailed review of those areas addressed. We elected instead to concentrate on clinically relevant topics and to provide sufficient data to be useful as a guide as well as to include selected, but in no was exhaustive, references. The first two chapters define the entities and set forth recommendations for diagnosis, hospital admission, and discharge. The remaining four chapters critically review the various facets of therapy. We have noted controversial areas and those were conclusive experimental data are not yet available. In these situations, the committee often decided to take a position on one side or the other based upon the best available information.
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              Effect of tiotropium on outcomes in patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (UPLIFT): a prespecified subgroup analysis of a randomised controlled trial.

              The beneficial effects of pharmacotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are well established. However, there are few data for treatment in the early stages of the disease. We examined the effect of tiotropium on outcomes in a large subgroup of patients with moderate COPD. The Understanding Potential Long-Term Impacts on Function with Tiotropium (UPLIFT) study was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial undertaken in 487 centres in 37 countries. 5993 patients aged 40 years or more with COPD were randomly assigned to receive 4 years of treatment with either once daily tiotropium (18 microg; n=2987) or matching placebo (n=3006), delivered by an inhalation device. Randomisation was by computer-generated blocks of four, with stratification according to study site. In a prespecified subgroup analysis, we investigated the effects of tiotropium in patients with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage II disease. Primary endpoints were the yearly rates of decline in prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) and in postbronchodilator FEV(1), beginning on day 30 until completion of double-blind treatment. The analysis included all patients who had at least three measurements of pulmonary function. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00144339. 2739 participants (mean age 64 years [SD 9]) had GOLD stage II disease at randomisation (tiotropium, n=1384; control, n=1355), with a mean postbronchodilator FEV(1) of 1.63 L (SD 0.37; 59% of predicted value). 1218 patients in the tiotropium group and 1157 in the control group had three or more measurements of postbronchodilator pulmonary function after day 30 and were included in the analysis. The rate of decline of mean postbronchodilator FEV(1) was lower in the tiotropium group than in the control group (43 mL per year [SE 2] vs 49 mL per year [SE 2], p=0.024). For prebronchodilator pulmonary function, 1221 patients in the tiotropium group and 1158 in the control group had three or more measurements and were included in the analysis. The rate of decline of mean prebronchodilator FEV(1) did not differ between groups (35 mL per year [SE 2] vs 37 mL per year [SE 2]; p=0.38). Health status, measured with the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, was better at all timepoints in the tiotropium group than in the control group (p
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                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
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2015
                18 March 2015
                : 10
                : 595-602
                Affiliations
                Division of Medical Oncology and Molecular Respirology, Department of Multidisciplinary Internal Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Akira Yamasaki, Division of Medical Oncology and Molecular Respirology, Department of Multidisciplinary Internal Medicine, Tottori University, 36-1 Nishi-cho, Yonago, Tottori, Japan, Tel +81 8 5938 6537, Fax +81 8 5938 6539, Email yamasaki@ 123456grape.med.tottori-u.ac.jp
                Article
                copd-10-595
                10.2147/COPD.S77491
                4370684
                © 2015 Harada 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 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. 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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                Original Research

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