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Different impacts of respiratory symptoms and comorbidities on COPD-specific health-related quality of life by COPD severity

Authors Lee H, Jhun BW, Cho J, Yoo KH, Lee JH, Kim DK, Lee JD, Jung KS, Lee JY, Park HY

Received 9 July 2017

Accepted for publication 25 September 2017

Published 13 November 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3301—3310

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S145910

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Hyun Lee,1,* Byung Woo Jhun,1,* Juhee Cho,2–4 Kwang Ha Yoo,5 Jin Hwa Lee,6 Deog Kyeom Kim,7 Jong Deog Lee,8 Ki-Suck Jung,9 Jung Yeon Lee,10 Hye Yun Park1

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; 2Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; 3Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; 4Department of Clinical Research Design and Evaluation, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea; 5Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; 6Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea; 7Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; 8Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, South Korea; 9Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Medical Center, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, South Korea; 10Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Chungju Hospital, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Chungju, South Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often have poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) that is disproportionate to their degree of airflow limitation. This study evaluated the association between St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD (SGRQ-C) score and forced expiratory volume in one second and investigated the factors responsible for high SGRQ-C score according to severity of airflow limitation.
Methods: Data from 1,264 COPD patients were obtained from the Korean COPD Subgroup Study (KOCOSS) cohort. Patients were categorized into two groups according to severity of airflow limitation: mild-to-moderate and severe-to-very severe COPD groups. We evaluated the clinical factors associated with high SGRQ-C score (≥25) in each COPD patient group.
Results: Of the 1,264 COPD patients, 902 (71.4%) had mild-to-moderate airflow limitation and 362 (28.6%) had severe-to-very severe airflow limitation. Of the mild-to-moderate COPD patients, 59.2% (534/902) had high SGRQ-C score, while 80.4% (291/362) of the severe-to-very severe COPD patients had high SGRQ-C score. The association between SGRQ-C score and post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (% predicted) was very weak in the mild-to-moderate COPD patients (r=–0.103, p=0.002) and weak in the severe-to-very severe COPD patients (r=–0.219, p<0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age, being an ex- or current smoker, lower level of education, cough, dyspnea, and number of comorbidities with congestive heart failure, hyperlipidemia, and depression were significantly associated with high SGRQ-C score in mild-to-moderate COPD patients. In comparison, being an ex-smoker and having respiratory symptoms including sputum and dyspnea were significant factors associated with high SGRQ-C score in severe-to-very severe COPD patients.
Conclusions: In addition to the respiratory symptoms of dyspnea and cough, high SGRQ-C score was associated with extra-pulmonary comorbidities in mild-to-moderate COPD patients. However, only respiratory symptoms such as sputum and dyspnea were significantly associated with high SGRQ-C score in severe-to-very severe COPD patients. This indicates the need for an improved management strategy for relieving respiratory symptoms in COPD patients with poor HRQoL. In addition, attention should be paid to extra-pulmonary comorbidities, especially in mild-to-moderate COPD patients with poor HRQoL.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, morbidity, quality of life

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