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The Burden Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) In Finland: Impact Of Disease Severity And Eosinophil Count On Healthcare Resource Utilization

Authors Viinanen A, Lassenius MI, Toppila I, Karlsson A, Veijalainen L, Idänpään-Heikkilä JJ, Laitinen T

Received 9 July 2019

Accepted for publication 23 September 2019

Published 25 October 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2409—2421


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Arja Viinanen,1,2,* Mariann I Lassenius,3,* Iiro Toppila,3 Antti Karlsson,4,5 Lauri Veijalainen,6 Juhana J Idänpään-Heikkilä,6 Tarja Laitinen1,2,7

1Division of Medicine, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; 2Department of Pulmonary Diseases and Clinical Allergology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; 3Medaffcon Oy, Espoo, Finland; 4Auria Biobank, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; 5University of Turku, Turku, Finland; 6GSK, Espoo, Finland; 7Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Arja Viinanen
Division of Medicine, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Turku University Hospital, Turku FI-20014, Finland
Tel +358 23133319
Email [email protected]

Purpose: The burden associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is substantial. The objectives of this study were to describe healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) and HCRU-associated costs in patients with COPD in Finland, according to disease severity and blood eosinophil count (BEC).
Patients and methods: This non-interventional, retrospective registry study (GSK ID: HO-17-17558) utilized data from the specialist care hospital register. Data extraction was from first hospital visit with a COPD diagnosis (index date) from January 1, 2004 until December 31, 2015 or death. Patients (aged >18 years with ≥1 report of post-bronchodilation forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio <0.7) were categorized as having non-severe or severe COPD (FEV1 >50% or ≤50% of reference, respectively). Patients who were initially non-severe but progressed to severe were classified as having progressing COPD. Patients without spirometry registry data were classified as having clinically verified COPD. Patients were grouped according to BEC (≥300 cells/μL, <300 cells/μL or BEC unknown). HCRU, estimated associated costs and mortality were evaluated according to COPD severity and BEC.
Results: There were 9042 patients with COPD; 340 non-severe, 326 progressing, 394 severe, and 7982 clinically verified. BEC was available for 31.8% of patients. The mean follow-up time was 3.7–6.5 years in the classified patient-groups. All-cause mortality was 46% during follow-up. Severe COPD was associated with more COPD-related HCRU and higher mortality than non-severe COPD. Patients with BEC ≥300 cells/μL had higher overall HCRU but improved survival compared with those with BEC <300 cells/μL. Overall direct costs were similar across COPD severity categories, 3300–3900€/patient-year, although COPD-related costs were higher in patients with severe versus non-severe COPD.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated a substantial burden associated with severe and/or eosinophilic COPD for patients in Finland.

Keywords: severe COPD, severe eosinophilic COPD, prevalence, healthcare costs, mortality

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