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Obstructive lung disease ups risk of death in seniors with history of smoking

11 Jul 2019
Smokers will not be referred for surgery unless they pass breathalyser tests to confirm that they have ceased smoking at least 8 weeks before surgery.

Obstructive lung disease (OLD) increases the risk of death in elderly adults who are current and former smokers, a recent study has found.

The study included 596 elderly adults (aged 70–79 years; 63 percent male) with a history of current and former smoking who were followed for 13 years. Participants were categorized into four: those with less dyspnoea and no OLD (n=196), those with more dyspnoea and no OLD (n=104), those with less dyspnoea but had OLD (n=162) and those with more dyspnoea and OLD (n=134).

After 13 years of follow-up, the mortality rate was 53 percent in the less dyspnoea-no OLD group and 63 percent in the more dyspnoea-no OLD group. A similar trend was observed in participants with OLD, such that those with less dyspnoea showed a lower mortality rate (67 percent vs 84 percent).

The Kaplan-Meier estimates for median survival were 12.5, 10.2, 9.8 and 7.2 years, in the respective groups. Mortality was highest in the group with more dyspnoea and OLD (p<0.05).

Unadjusted models showed that the risk of death in the group with OLD but with less dyspnoea was significantly higher than that in participants with less dyspnoea and without OLD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.56, 95 percent CI, 1.19–2.04; p=0.001). The effect similar and stronger for those with both OLD and more dyspnoea (HR, 2.45, 1.88–3.21; p<0.0001).

Fully adjusted analysis did not meaningfully alter the mortality risk conferred by having OLD, either in patients with less (HR, 1.52, 1.15–2.02; p=0.004) or more (HR, 1.91, 1.44–2.54; p<0.0001) dyspnoea.

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Most Read Articles
5 days ago
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or bronchiectasis suffer from heightened pain perception, severity and sensitivity, a recent study has found.