Introduction and Objectives Little is known about the 24-hour profile of COPD symptoms. This study assessed the frequency/severity of 24-hour symptoms and their impact on patients’ well-being.
Methods This cross-sectional, observational study was conducted in patients with stable COPD. Baseline night-time, early-morning and day-time symptoms (symptom questionnaire), dyspnoea (modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale [mMRC]), health status (COPD Assessment Test [CAT]), anxiety/depression levels (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]) and sleep quality (COPD and Asthma Sleep Impact Scale [CASIS]) were assessed. Primary endpoint: baseline frequency, severity and inter-relationship of night-time, early-morning and day-time symptoms; secondary endpoints: relationship between 24-hour symptoms and dyspnoea, health status, anxiety/depression and sleep quality.
Results 727 patients were recruited from eight countries: 65.8% male, mean ± SD age 67.2 ± 8.8 years, mean ± SD% predicted FEV1 52.7 ± 20.6%. Early-morning/day-time symptoms were most frequent; however night-time symptoms were common (Table). Symptom severity was comparable during the night-time, early-morning and day-time. In the week prior to baseline, 56.7% patients had symptoms throughout the 24-hours (79.9% in 2 or 3 parts of the day). Breathlessness was most common (71.4% patients); its prevalence increased throughout the 24-hours (32.1% night-time, 51.6% early-morning, 65.2% day-time).
Dyspnoea, health status, anxiety/depression and sleep quality were worse in patients with night-time, early-morning or day-time symptoms versus patients without symptoms in each period (all p < 0.001). Most patients with more severe dyspnoea (mMRC scale ≥2) had 24-hour symptoms (range 61.5–68.2%); patients with 24-hour symptoms had the worst health status (mean CAT score 20.0 vs range 8.1–14.9 in all other patients). Patients with any combination of night-time/early-morning symptoms had the highest anxiety (mean HADS scores 6.7–7.5 vs 3.6–5.8 in patients without this combination); depression levels were lowest in patients with no symptoms/only early-morning symptoms (mean HADS scores 4.2–5.4 vs 6.5–7.8 in all other patients). Patients with any night-time symptom had worse sleep quality than patients without night-time symptoms (mean CASIS scores 41.6–51.1 vs 31.6–35.5).
Conclusions Most patients had COPD symptoms throughout the 24-hours. Dyspnoea, health status, anxiety/depression levels and sleep quality were significantly worse in patients who had symptoms in any part of the day.
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