Background: We assessed the effects of an influenza season on patients with COPD. Data from 2,215 veterans in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind influenza vaccine efficacy study were analyzed for changes in spirometric and functional status, comparing patients with laboratory-documented influenza (LDI)-caused illness, non-LDI-caused respiratory illness, or no illness, and for association with influenza vaccination.
Methods: Patients received either IM trivalent inactivated influenza virus vaccine (TIV) plus intranasal trivalent, live attenuated, cold-adapted influenza virus vaccine (TC) or TIV plus intranasal placebo (TP). We performed spirometry, measured the chronic lung disease severity index (CLDSI) score to assess functional status and well-being, and tested for influenza virus infection.
Results: Worsening in FEV1, percentage of predicted FEV1, and CLDSI score (p < 0.001) was associated with acute respiratory illness in 585 illnesses including 94 LDI-caused illnesses. LDI-caused illness was more likely to be associated with worsening in FEV1 and CLDSI score acutely than non-LDI-caused illness (p < 0.01). Logistic regression showed acute respiratory illness (odds ratio [OR], 1.78; 95% confidence limit [CL], 1.40 to 2.26) to be associated with worsening in CLDSI score, and receipt of TC (OR, 1.39; 95% CL, 1.10 to 1.74) and no illness (OR, 0.70; 95% CL, 0.53 to 0.91 for acute respiratory illness) to be associated with better CLDSI score at the end of the study. Hospitalization was more frequent in patients with acute respiratory illness (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Acute respiratory illness was associated with increased health-care utilization and obstruction to airflow, and worse functional status and well-being. At the end of the study, receipt of TC was associated with improvement and acute respiratory illness was associated with worsening in functional status and well-being.