Background: The 2017 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recommends regular bronchodilator therapy in all group A patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether regular inhaled treatment in group A patients with COPD improves their health outcomes, including exacerbations and symptoms. Methods: We recruited patients from 2 Korean prospective cohorts. Eligible COPD patients had a modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea score of <2, a St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD (SGRQ-C) total score of <25, and had no more than 1 exacerbation and no hospitalizations during the previous year. Incidence rates of exacerbations and changes in symptom scores were analyzed. Results: After propensity score matching, there were 107 patient pairs, with and without regular inhaled treatment, who were followed up for mean times of 2.6 and 3.1 years, respectively. The incidence rates of exacerbations in those with and without regular treatment were not significantly different (incidence rate ratio 1.24 [95% CI 0.68 to 2.25]). Significant differences in favor of regular treatment were observed at 6 and 12 months for the SGRQ-C total scores (mean between-group difference-4.7 [95% CI-7.9 to-1.6] and-4.8 [95% CI-7.9 to-1.7], respectively). Regular treatment with a long-acting bronchodilator was also associated with significantly better scores on the SGRQ-C (mean between-group difference-5.0 [95% CI-8.6 to-1.4]) compared to no regular treatment at 12 months of follow-up. Conclusions: Regular inhaled treatment in group A patients with COPD was associated with a symptomatic benefit but not with a reduction of exacerbation rates.
- Acute exacerbation
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Group A
- Inhaled therapy