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The relationship between the COPD Assessment Test score and airflow limitation in Japan in patients aged over 40 years with a smoking history

Authors Yoshimoto D, Nakano Y, Onishi K, Hagan G, Jones P

Received 24 January 2014

Accepted for publication 7 August 2014

Published 9 December 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1357—1363


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Daisuke Yoshimoto,1 Yasutaka Nakano,2 Katsuya Onishi,3 Gerry Hagan,4 Paul Jones5

1GlaxoSmithKline, Tokyo, 2Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, 3Onishi Heart Clinic, Tsu, Japan; 4Independent consultant, Marbella, Spain; 5Division of Clinical Science, St George’s Hospital, University of London, London, UK

Background: A large number of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients in Japan remain undiagnosed, primarily due to the underuse of spirometry. Two studies were conducted to see whether the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) in primary care has the potential to identify those patients who need spirometry for a diagnosis of COPD and to determine whether patients with cardiovascular disease had airflow limitation, which could be detected by CAT.
Materials and methods: Two multicenter, noninterventional, prospective studies (studies 1 and 2) were conducted across Japan. Patients in both studies were ≥40 years old with a smoking history. Those in study 1 were seen in primary care and had experienced repeated respiratory tract infections, but had no diagnosis of COPD. Patients in study 2 were identified in cardiovascular disease clinics when routinely visiting for their cardiovascular disease. All patients completed the CAT prior to lung-function testing by hand-held spirometry. The presence of airflow limitation was defined as a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/FEV6 ratio <0.73.
Results: A total of 3,062 subjects completed the CAT (2,067 in study 1, 995 in study 2); 88.8% were male, and the mean age (± standard deviation) was 61.5±11.6 years. Airflow limitation was found in 400 (19.4%) patients in study 1, and 269 (27.0%) in study 2. The CAT score in patients with airflow limitation was significantly higher than in patients without airflow limitation in both studies: 8.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.9–9.2) versus 7.4 (95% CI 7.1–7.6) in study 1, and 8.3 (95% CI 7.5–9.2) versus 6.4 (95% CI 6.0–6.8) in study 2 (both P<0.001).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the CAT has the potential to identify patients with cardiovascular disease or a history of frequent chest infections who need spirometry to diagnose COPD.

Keywords: COPD, CAT, spirometry, airflow limitation

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