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Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2018 Jul 20;13:2245-2251. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S166163. eCollection 2018.

COPD phenotypes: differences in survival.

Author information

Respiratory Department, Hospital Universitario Infanta Leonor, Madrid, Spain.
Preventive Medicine and Public Health Teaching and Research Unit, Health Sciences Faculty, Rey Juan Carlos University, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain,
Respiratory Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón (IiSGM), Madrid, Spain.



The aim of the study was to analyze the characteristics and survival of a group of patients with COPD according to their clinical phenotype.

Patients and methods:

The study population was selected from patients undergoing scheduled spirometry between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011 at the respiratory function laboratory of a teaching hospital and comprised those with a previous and confirmed diagnosis of COPD and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) of <70%. The patients selected were classified into 4 groups: positive bronchodilator response, non-exacerbator, exacerbator with emphysema, and exacerbator with chronic bronchitis. Patients were followed up until April 2017.


We recruited 273 patients, of whom 89% were men. The distribution by phenotype was as follows: non-exacerbator, 47.2%; positive bronchodilator response, 25.8%; exacerbator with chronic bronchitis, 13.8%; and exacerbator with emphysema, 13.0%. A total of 90 patients died during follow-up (32.9%). Taking patients with a positive bronchodilator response as the reference category, the risk factors that were independently associated with death were older age (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.09), lower FEV1 (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), and exacerbator with chronic bronchitis phenotype (HR, 3.28; 95% CI, 1.53-7.03).


Classification of COPD patients by phenotype makes it possible to identify subgroups with different prognoses. Thus, mortality was greater in exacerbators with chronic bronchitis and lower in those with a positive bronchodilator response.


COPD; chronic bronchitis; emphysema; exacerbator; mortality; phenotypes; positive bronchodilator response

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