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Community-Acquired Pneumonia Presents Burden for Patients With COPD

Allison Inserro
A survey of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who had contracted community-acquired pneumonia showed that the additional illness caused a significant burden, such as lost time from work, as well as a burden on their caregivers.
A survey of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who had contracted community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) showed that the additional illness caused a significant burden, such as lost time from work, as well as a burden on their caregivers.

Nearly 500 people with COPD who also had recently received a CAP diagnosis completed a survey within 120 days of their initial CAP diagnosis and a second survey 30 days later.

CAP is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, affecting more than 5 million US adults and resulting in $8 billion in hospitalization costs annually. Patients with COPD have a higher risk of developing CAP at about 6 to 8 times that of healthy individuals in the same age group.

The authors said that much of the CAP literature focuses on the burden and recovery from CAP in the general population; there are limited data on the impact of CAP on those with COPD.

Patient with COPD suffering from CAP reported missing an average of 21 days from work, with an additional 14 days required to return to “usual” job performance. They were impaired from regular activities for more than 30 days and had weeks of lingering symptoms. More than 84% reported requiring assistance from family and friends.

The participants’ mean age was 48.9 years, compared with previous CAP studies’ mean ages of older than 61 years, and 64% were men. Most were white and approximately half had completed a college or postgraduate education, 52% were currently employed, and 49% were current smokers.

In the COPD cohort of this study, more than 90% of participants reported being hospitalized.

Self-reported chronic conditions included asthma (23.5%), hypertension (23.5%), diabetes (15.4%), and heart disease (8.5%). Of the 481 participants included in the data analysis, 91.1% (n = 438) reported being hospitalized for their CAP.

 “Our study is one of the first to focus on the impact of CAP in a cohort limited to individuals diagnosed with COPD,” lead study author Cara Pasquale, MPH, senior director of the COPD Patient-Powered Research Network at the COPD Foundation, said in a statement. “The majority of our study’s participants were younger than 60 and therefore more likely to still be working.”

The study was published in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation and conducted by the COPD Foundation in collaboration with and funded by Pfizer, which makes pneumococcal vaccines.

Reference

Pasquale CB, Vietri J, Choate R, et al. Patient-reported consequences of community-acquired pneumonia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. In press. doi: 10.15326/jcopdf.6.2.2018.0144.

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