Frequency and risk factors of COPD exacerbations and hospitalizations: a nationwide study in Greece (Greek Obstructive Lung Disease Epidemiology and health ecoNomics: GOLDEN study)
Authors Alexopoulos E, Malli F, Mitsiki E, Bania E, Varounis C, Gourgoulianis K
Received 29 June 2015
Accepted for publication 7 November 2015
Published 11 December 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 2665—2674
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell
Evangelos C Alexopoulos,1 Foteini Malli,2 Eirini Mitsiki,3 Eleni G Bania,2 Christos Varounis,3 Konstantinos I Gourgoulianis1
1School of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Patras, 2Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Thessaly Medical School, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, 3Medical Department, Novartis Hellas, Athens, Greece
Background: COPD exacerbations and hospitalizations have been associated with poor prognosis for the COPD patient.
Objective: To evaluate the frequency and risk factors of COPD exacerbations, hospitalizations, and admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) in Greece by a nationwide cross-sectional study.
Materials and methods: A nationwide observational, multicenter, cross-sectional study was conducted in the clinical practice setting of respiratory medicine physicians over a 6 month-period (October 2010 to March 2011). A total of 6,125 COPD patients were recruited by 199 respiratory physicians.
Results: Participants had a median age of 68.0 years, 71.3% were males, and 71.8% suffered from comorbidities. The median disease duration was 10.0 years. Of the patients, 45.3% were classified as having GOLD (Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) stage III or IV COPD. Patients with four or more comorbidities had 78.5% and threefold-higher than expected number of exacerbations and hospitalizations, respectively, as well as fivefold-higher risk of admission to the ICU compared to those with no comorbidities. Obese patients had 6.2% fewer expected exacerbations compared to those with a normal body mass index. Patients with GOLD stage IV had 74.5% and fivefold-higher expected number of exacerbations and hospitalizations, respectively, and nearly threefold-higher risk of admission to the ICU compared to stage I patients. An additional risk factor for exacerbations and hospitalizations was low compliance with treatment: 45% of patients reported forgetting to take their medication, and 81% reported a preference for a treatment with a lower dosing frequency.
Conclusion: Comorbidities, disease severity, and compliance with treatment were identified as the most notable risk factors for exacerbations, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions. The results point to the need for a multifactorial approach for the COPD patient and for the development of strategies that can increase patient compliance with treatment.
Keywords: COPD, exacerbations, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, risk factors
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]