Self-rated health predicts outcome in chronic disease, but such information is scarce in COPD. We aimed to assess self-rated health as an outcome predictor in carefully characterized patients with this condition.
This was a prospective study in 127 clinically stable patients with COPD (64 ± 8 years, 79% men, 82% Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage II or III). Self-rated health was assessed using a 5-grade Likert scale ranging from very poor to very good.
During 26.0 ± 4.9 months of follow-up, 78 patients experienced acute exacerbation, 39 were hospitalized, and 10 died. Poor or very poor self-rated health was reported by 19 patients (15%) and was more common in patients experiencing acute exacerbations (20% vs 6%, P = .027) and hospitalizations (19% vs 5%, P = .039). Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated more acute exacerbations (P = .003) and hospitalizations (P = .008) in patients with poor or very poor self-rated health. In a fully adjusted Cox model of proportional hazard, poor or very poor self-rated health remained predictive of acute exacerbations (hazard ratio [HR], 1.80; 95% CI, 1.03-3.11) and hospitalizations (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.12-3.68) but not of death.
This study suggests that self-rated health is predictive of acute exacerbations and hospitalizations. Although prediction of mortality was limited, the study is supportive of self-rated health testing in COPD.