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Clinical Investigations: BRONCHITIS |

Costs of Chronic Bronchitis and COPD*: A 1-Year Follow-up Study

Marc Miravitlles, MD; Cristina Murio, MD; Tina Guerrero, BSt; Ramon Gisbert, PhD; on behalf of the DAFNE Study Group
Author and Funding Information

*From the Servei de Pneumologia (Dr. Miravitlles), Institut Clínic de Pneumologia i Cirurgia Toràcica (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clínic i Provincial, Barcelona; Unidad de Pneumologia (Dr. Murio), Hospital General Sant Cugat del Vallés; Pharma Research (Ms. Guerrero), Division of Pharma Consult Services S.A., Barcelona; and SOIKOS S.L. (Dr. Gisbert), Barcelona, Spain.

Correspondence to: Marc Miravitlles, MD, Servei de Pneumologia, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, Villarroel 170 (UVIR, esc 2, planta 3), 08036 Barcelona, Spain; e-mail: marcm@separ.es


*From the Servei de Pneumologia (Dr. Miravitlles), Institut Clínic de Pneumologia i Cirurgia Toràcica (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clínic i Provincial, Barcelona; Unidad de Pneumologia (Dr. Murio), Hospital General Sant Cugat del Vallés; Pharma Research (Ms. Guerrero), Division of Pharma Consult Services S.A., Barcelona; and SOIKOS S.L. (Dr. Gisbert), Barcelona, Spain.


Chest. 2003;123(3):784-791. doi:10.1378/chest.123.3.784
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Objective: This study attempted to determine the total direct costs derived from the management of chronic bronchitis and COPD in an ambulatory setting through a prospective, 1-year, follow-up study.

Method: A total of 1,510 patients with chronic bronchitis and COPD were recruited from 268 general practices located throughout Spain. Patients were followed up for 1 year. All direct medical costs incurred by the cohort and related to their respiratory disease were quantified. Costs were calculated for patients with confirmed COPD according to the degree of severity of airflow obstruction.

Results: The global mean direct yearly cost of chronic bronchitis and COPD was $1,876. The cost generated by patients with COPD was $1,760, but the cost of severe COPD ($2,911) was almost double that of mild COPD ($1,484). Hospitalization costs represented 43.8% of costs, drug acquisition costs were 40.8%, and clinic visits and diagnostic tests represented only 15.4% of costs.

Conclusion: This is the first prospective follow-up study on a large cohort of patients with chronic bronchitis and COPD aimed at quantifying direct medical costs under usual clinical practice in the community. Costs of chronic bronchitis and COPD were almost twofold those reported for asthma. Patterns of COPD management in the community differ from those recommended in guidelines. COPD represents a great health-care burden in developed countries, and aging of the population and continuing smoking habits predict that it will continue to do so in the future.

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