Evaluation of: Suissa S, Dell’Aniello S, Ernst P. Long-term natural history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: severe exacerbations and mortality. Thorax 67(11), 957–963 (2012).
In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), progressive airflow limitation is a risk factor for development of disease exacerbations, which, when severe, may require hospitalization. In the discussed study, a large cohort of patients hospitalized for their first COPD exacerbation were analyzed in terms of subsequent hospitalizations and mortality risk. COPD hospitalizations were found to be a risk factor for subsequent COPD-related hospitalizations, to increase their incidence and to increase the disease-related mortality risk. Male gender was also identified as a risk factor for a higher COPD-related morbidity and mortality. Hospitalizations for COPD exacerbation should be considered as additional criterion for disease severity in tailoring the disease management.