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Impacts of coexisting bronchial asthma on severe exacerbations in mild-to-moderate COPD: results from a national database

Authors Lee H, Chin Kook Rhee CK, Lee B, Choi D, Kim J, Kim SH, Jeong Y, Kim T, Chon GR, Jung K, Lee SH, Price DB, Yoo KH, Park HY

Received 7 September 2015

Accepted for publication 30 December 2015

Published 15 April 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 775—783

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S95954

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Glenda Ernst

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Hyun Lee,1 Chin Kook Rhee,2 Byung-Jae Lee,3 Dong-Chull Choi,3 Jee-Ae Kim,4 Sang Hyun Kim,5 Yoolwon Jeong,6 Tae-Hyung Kim,7 Gyu Rak Chon,8 Ki-Suck Jung,9 Sang Haak Lee,10 David Price,11 Kwang Ha Yoo,12,* Hye Yun Park1,*

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 2Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 3Division of Allergy, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 4Pharmaceutical Policy Evaluation Research Team, Research Institution, Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, 5Big Data Division, Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, Seoul, 6Division of Chronic Disease Control, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Osong, 7Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Gyeonggi-do, 8Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chungju Hospital, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Chungju City, 9Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Medical Center, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, 10Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, St Paul’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea; 11Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK; 12Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Backround: Acute exacerbations are major drivers of COPD deterioration. However, limited data are available for the prevalence of severe exacerbations and impact of asthma on severe exacerbations, especially in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD.
Methods: Patients with mild-to-moderate COPD (≥40 years) were extracted from Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data (2007–2012) and were linked to the national health insurance reimbursement database to obtain medical service utilization records.
Results: Of the 2,397 patients with mild-to-moderate COPD, 111 (4.6%) had severe exacerbations over the 6 years (0.012/person-year). Severe exacerbations were more frequent in the COPD patients with concomitant self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma compared with only COPD patients (P<0.001). A multiple logistic regression presented that asthma was an independent risk factor of severe exacerbations in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD regardless of adjustment for all possible confounding factors (adjusted odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.002–2.77, P=0.049). In addition, age, female, poor lung function, use of inhalers, and low EuroQoL five dimensions questionnaire index values were independently associated with severe exacerbation in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD.
Conclusion: In this population-based study, the prevalence of severe exacerbations in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD was relatively low, compared with previous clinical interventional studies. Coexisting asthma significantly impacted the frequency of severe exacerbations in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD, suggesting application of an exacerbation preventive strategy in these patients.

Keywords: bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute exacerbation

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