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

Authors Harada T, Yamasaki A, Fukushima T, Hashimoto K, Takata M, Kodani M, Okazaki R, Takeda K, Watanabe M, Kurai J, Shimizu E

Received 14 November 2014

Accepted for publication 2 February 2015

Published 18 March 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 595—602

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S77491

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Tomoya Harada, Akira Yamasaki, Takehito Fukushima, Kiyoshi Hashimoto, Miki Takata, Masahiro Kodani, Ryota Okazaki, Kenichi Takeda, Masanari Watanabe, Jun Kurai, Eiji Shimizu

Division of Medical Oncology and Molecular Respirology, Department of Multidisciplinary Internal Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Japan

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.

Keywords: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, mortality

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