"Lifetime smoking intensity and current smoking status independently increased mortality in our patients with severe COPD," said Craig P. Hersh, MD, Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. "However, patients who continued smoking significantly reduced their survival rate, which confirms the importance of smoking cessation even in patients with the most advanced stages of lung disease."
Dr. Hersh and colleagues utilized data from the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study to determine the natural history of severe, early onset COPD and the survival rates of patients under age 53 during a follow-up period of 2 months to 8 years. Of the 139 patients (72.7 percent women) studied, 37 patients died within the study period, with the majority of deaths due to cardiorespiratory illness. Overall survival rates were 85 percent at 3 years and 72 percent at 5 years. Patients who smoked during the study period had a risk of mortality that was almost three times that of patients who stopped smoking. In addition, greater smoking intensity was associated with decreased survival, and the risk of mortality increased by 20 percent for each 10 pack-years of smoking.
"As age increases, so does the risk of mortality in patients with COPD," added Dr. Hersh. "Yet, the rela
Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians