A survey conducted by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has not only highlighted a spike in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurrences-but also challenged the makeup of individuals typically affected by the condition.
A survey conducted by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has not only highlighted a spike in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurrences—but also challenged the makeup of individuals typically affected by the condition.
Investigators conducted interviews with 4,343 participants from November 2012 to May 2013. Study respondents included those over the age of 40 and who were diagnosed with COPD/emphysema or chronic bronchitis. To quantify COPD severity, the researchers utilized the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) Dyspnea Scale.
Standout results published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease included that the US was the only country researched where women had a higher occurrence of COPD than men (7.1 vs 6.2%), a fourth of COPD patients never smoked, and age increased COPD risk—a widely recognized statistic. Alarmingly, half of the participants (54%) reported dealing with significant breathing difficulties.
Specifically, their study spanning 12 countries contradicted preconceived notions that American COPD sufferers were disproportionately elderly, male and/or smokers.
“From these findings we see that the face of COPD is changing,” Kourtney Davis, PhD, MSPH, GSK’s lead global epidemiologist on the survey said in a statement. “Traditionally, COPD was considered to be a disease of elderly male smokers, but now, more women than men report having COPD, and about a quarter of patients have never smoked.”
Similar to their previous Confronting COPD International Survey, which also stressed the wide-ranging personal and communal effects of COPD, their current study called for an emphasis on endorsed patient-reported outcomes for effective patient care.