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Int J Gen Med. 2012;5:815-22. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S27411. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Two-year mortality of patients with COPD in primary health care: an observational study.

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1
Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Thessaly Medical School, Larissa, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, with high rates of underdiagnosis. There are no studies about following up COPD patients in primary health care. The aim of the current study was to estimate two-year mortality for COPD patients in primary care and assess the parameters associated with mortality.

METHODS:

A total of 263 patients with a new COPD diagnosis were followed up for two years. Follow-up included phone contacts every six months for assessment of vital status, and re-examination visits every year after the initial diagnosis. Visits included performance on spirometry, assessment of smoking status, evaluation of adherence with treatment, and assessment of the number of exacerbations during the previous year.

RESULTS:

One hundred and eighteen patients with COPD completed the study. The overall mortality was 27.9%. Most patients had quit smoking two years after the initial diagnosis, whereas the percentage of patients showing high adherence with treatment was 68%. Parameters associated with two-year mortality were age and coronary heart disease comorbidity.

CONCLUSION:

The mortality of patients with COPD in primary care remains significantly high, whereas adherence with treatment remains significant low. Age, smoking status, and a history of depression are major determinants of mortality in primary health care.

KEYWORDS:

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; depression; mortality; primary health care

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