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3 parameters for cluster change in stable COPD patients

08 May 2018

Cluster assignment has been maintained by most of the patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) after 2 years of follow-up, according to a study. The principal driving parameters in those who change their cluster assignment include exercise tolerance, lung function and quality of life.

This study evaluated 521 smokers with COPD at baseline and 2 years later. At both evaluation periods, three different clusters were identified consistently: cluster A (of younger age, mild airway limitation, few symptoms), cluster B (intermediate) and cluster C (of older age, severe airway limitation and highly symptomatic).

After 2 years of follow-up, 70 percent of patients remained unchanged, while the rest changed from one cluster to another (20 percent from A to B; 15 percent from B to A; 15 percent B to C; 42 percent from C to B; and 8 percent from C to A).

The main parameters responsible for this cluster shift were 6-minute walking distance (6MWD), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) % and COPD Assessment Test (CAT).

The following variables were evaluated in COPD patients at baseline and 2 years later: age, gender, pack-year history, body mass index, modified Medical Research Council scale, 6MWD, spirometry and CAT. Cluster analysis was used to conduct patient classification at baseline and 2 years later.

The investigators also explored each patient’s cluster variability after 2 years and its parameters associated with cluster change.

“Cluster analysis has been utilized to explore phenotypic heterogeneity in COPD,” the investigators said. “To date, little is known about the longitudinal variability of clusters in COPD patients.”

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Most Read Articles
01 Apr 2016
Posaconazole oral suspension may be effective in managing fungal infections among lung transplant recipients, as presented in a single-centre, retrospective study.
Saras Ramiya, 19 Nov 2018
Sunway Medical Centre is collaborating with Royal Papworth Hospital to facilitate knowledge exchange among cardiology and respiratory experts.
Tristan Manalac, 11 Sep 2018
The immediate reduction of cigarette nicotine content results in greater improvements in levels of smoke exposure biomarkers than gradual reduction, though withdrawal symptoms are stronger, according to a recent study.
Stephen Padilla, 6 days ago
Happy Quit, a mobile-phone-based text messaging intervention, has led smokers in a China study to stop smoking with either high- (HFM) or low-frequency messaging (LFM). This intervention may be paired with other smoking cessation services for treatment-seeking smokers.