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      COPD: it is time to change!

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          COPD is a common cause of disability, morbidity and mortality worldwide and a major global health problem with enormous direct and indirect health care costs. Different reasons can be advanced to explain it, but among them the possibility that the recommended diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to COPD were less effective than they could be, should be also considered. The pharmacological baseline treatment of stable COPD has been widely based on the severity of airflow obstruction and recently, of chronic symptoms and on the annual number of previous exacerbations. These recommendations do not take into account the underlying prevalent disease that should be treated and the future risk. Our suggestion is that the therapy must be firstly tailored on the prevalent disease leading to COPD, independently from the degree of FEV 1 reduction and chronic dyspnea and only after that, according to the severity of the disorder (and age of patient), to establish the level of the treatment in order to freeze, when possible, and not to follow the underlying pathological process, running after it. Moreover, given the relevance of exacerbations in the natural history of COPD, greater effort should be placed on recognition of their prevalent type in frequent exacerbators and to prevent them using more tailored and specific treatment.

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          Most cited references 31

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          50-year trends in smoking-related mortality in the United States.

          The disease risks from cigarette smoking increased in the United States over most of the 20th century, first among male smokers and later among female smokers. Whether these risks have continued to increase during the past 20 years is unclear. We measured temporal trends in mortality across three time periods (1959-1965, 1982-1988, and 2000-2010), comparing absolute and relative risks according to sex and self-reported smoking status in two historical cohort studies and in five pooled contemporary cohort studies, among participants who became 55 years of age or older during follow-up. For women who were current smokers, as compared with women who had never smoked, the relative risks of death from lung cancer were 2.73, 12.65, and 25.66 in the 1960s, 1980s, and contemporary cohorts, respectively; corresponding relative risks for male current smokers, as compared with men who had never smoked, were 12.22, 23.81, and 24.97. In the contemporary cohorts, male and female current smokers also had similar relative risks for death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (25.61 for men and 22.35 for women), ischemic heart disease (2.50 for men and 2.86 for women), any type of stroke (1.92 for men and 2.10 for women), and all causes combined (2.80 for men and 2.76 for women). Mortality from COPD among male smokers continued to increase in the contemporary cohorts in nearly all the age groups represented in the study and within each stratum of duration and intensity of smoking. Among men 55 to 74 years of age and women 60 to 74 years of age, all-cause mortality was at least three times as high among current smokers as among those who had never smoked. Smoking cessation at any age dramatically reduced death rates. The risk of death from cigarette smoking continues to increase among women and the increased risks are now nearly identical for men and women, as compared with persons who have never smoked. Among men, the risks associated with smoking have plateaued at the high levels seen in the 1980s, except for a continuing, unexplained increase in mortality from COPD.
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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, 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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              Outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnea: the overlap syndrome.

              Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (overlap syndrome) are more likely to develop pulmonary hypertension than patients with either condition alone. To assess the relation of overlap syndrome to mortality and first-time hospitalization because of COPD exacerbation and the effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on these major outcomes. We included 228 patients with overlap syndrome treated with CPAP, 213 patients with overlap syndrome not treated with CPAP, and 210 patients with COPD without OSA. All were free of heart failure, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Median follow-up was 9.4 years (range, 3.3-12.7). End points were all-cause mortality and first-time COPD exacerbation leading to hospitalization. After adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption, comorbidities, severity of COPD, apnea-hypopnea index, and daytime sleepiness, patients with overlap syndrome not treated with CPAP had a higher mortality (relative risk, 1.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-2.77) and were more likely to suffer a severe COPD exacerbation leading to hospitalization (relative risk, 1.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-2.38) versus the COPD-only group. Patients with overlap syndrome treated with CPAP had no increased risk for either outcome compared with patients with COPD-only. The overlap syndrome is associated with an increased risk of death and hospitalization because of COPD exacerbation. CPAP treatment was associated with improved survival and decreased hospitalizations in patients with overlap syndrome.

                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
                11 November 2015
                : 10
                : 2451-2457
                Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Laura Pini, Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy, Email laura.pini@
                © 2015 Tantucci and Pini. 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 Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Respiratory medicine

                prevention of copd exacerbations, therapeutic approach of copd, copd


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