Article Abstract

Classification and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease outpatients in China according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2017: comparison with GOLD 2014

Authors: Yanan Cui, Zhongshang Dai, Lijuan Luo, Ping Chen, Yan Chen

Abstract

Background: In 2017, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) proposed new classification criteria for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which categorizes them into groups A–D based on risk of exacerbations and symptoms. The impact of the 2017 revisions on categorization and subsequent drug selection has been insufficiently studied in China.
Methods: This observational, multicenter, cross-sectional study recruited patients attending the outpatient clinics of 12 tertiary hospitals in China between April 2016 and July 2018. Patients were classified according to the GOLD 2014 and 2017 classification criteria and profiled based on categorization, demographics, clinical characteristics, and treatment regimens.
Results: In total, 1,278 COPD patients [mean age (±SD), 62.4±8.4 years; body mass index (BMI), 22.3±3.4 kg/m2] were included. According to the GOLD 2014 and 2017 classification criteria, the distribution in groups A–D was 58 (4.5%), 288 (22.5%), 28 (2.2%), 904 (70.7%) and 71 (5.6%), 573 (44.8%), 15 (1.2%), 619 (48.4%), respectively. Overall, 32% of patients in groups C–D were reclassified to groups A–B. Based on both GOLD 2014 and 2017, low BMI and education level were independent risk factors for high risk of exacerbation (i.e., being in groups C–D) (P<0.05). The patients who were reclassified from group D to B were younger and had fewer symptoms than those who remained in group D. The most frequently prescribed regimen was triple inhaled treatment (39.4%). Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) were prescribed across all groups, and 205 (71.9%) of the 285 patients who were reclassified from group D to B were treated with ICS.
Conclusions: GOLD 2017 reclassified COPD patients to low-risk groups. The risk of exacerbation increased with decreased BMI or education levels. Overtreatment was observed in many patients, and physicians should reexamine treatment patterns for patients reclassified into low-risk groups.

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