Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2016 5;11:273-80. Epub 2016 Feb 5.
GlaxoSmithKline, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Objective: To assess the frequency of comorbidities in subjects with COPD and their association with respiratory symptom severity and COPD exacerbations.
Materials And Methods: This was an analysis of the BREATHE study, a cross-sectional survey of COPD conducted in the general population of eleven countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Pakistan. The study population consisted of a sample of subjects with COPD for whom the presence of comorbidities was documented. Three questionnaires were used. The screening questionnaire identified subjects who fulfilled an epidemiological case definition of COPD and documented any potential comorbidities; the detailed COPD questionnaire collected data on respiratory symptoms, COPD exacerbations, and comorbidities associated with COPD; the COPD Assessment Test collected data on the impact of respiratory symptoms on well-being and daily life.
Results: A total of 2,187 subjects were positively screened for COPD, of whom 1,392 completed the detailed COPD questionnaire. COPD subjects were more likely to report comorbidities (55.2%) than subjects without COPD (39.1%, P<0.0001), most frequently cardiovascular diseases. In subjects who screened positively for COPD, the presence of comorbidities was significantly (P=0.03) associated with a COPD Assessment Test score ≥10 and with antecedents of COPD exacerbations in the previous 6 months (P=0.03).
Conclusion: Comorbidities are frequent in COPD and associated with more severe respiratory symptoms. This highlights the importance of identification and appropriate management of comorbidities in all subjects with a diagnosis of COPD.