Background Evidence-based international guidelines on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and their corresponding recommendations, were established to improve individual COPD prognosis, and ultimately to improve survival. The aim of this study was to determine whether the long-term mortality after discharge from a COPD hospitalisation has improved recently, and the effect of co-morbidity treatment in improving COPD prognosis.
Methods In a prospective cohort study design of two cohorts 7 years apart, patients discharged from the same university hospital after a COPD exacerbation were followed-up, and their outcomes compared. Demographic and clinical variables, as well as lung function, were collected with the same protocol by the same investigators. Comprehensive assessments of co-morbidities and treatments were undertaken. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were estimated, and outcomes were compared by means of Cox regression methods.
Results Overall, 135 participants in the 1996–7 cohort and 181 participants in the 2003–4 cohort were studied. Both cohorts were comparable in their baseline demographic and clinical variables, and median follow-up was 439 days. The 3-year mortality was lower in the 2003–4 cohort (38.7%) than in the 1996–7 cohort (47.4%) (p=0.017), and the RR of death after adjustment for gender, age, body mass index, co-morbidities, lung function and mMRC (modified Medical Research Council scale) dyspnoea was 0.66 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.97). Long-term survival improved in the second cohort for patients with COPD with heart failure or cancer (p<0.001).
Conclusions A recent trend towards better prognosis of patients with COPD after hospital discharge is described and is likely to be associated with better management and treatment of COPD and co-morbidities.
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Funding This study was supported by a research grant from the Fundacio per la Recerca de Mutua de Terrassa (MI03/07).
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University Hospital Mutua de Terrassa Research and Ethics Committee, and all subjects gave their written informed consent.
All co-authors accept responsibility for the conduct of this study and for the analysis and interpretation of the data. All co-authors helped write this manuscript and agree with the decisions made.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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