The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is rising, as is its impact on public health. COPD patients have significant pulmonary limitations, which may adversely effect health status and functionality. This study compared perceived health status, physical, work, and social limitations in COPD patients and patients with other chronic diseases using the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data.
Data from the Household Component of MEPS, a nationally representative sample of the US non-institutionalized, civilian population were analyzed. MEPS data provided self-reported information on demographics, health conditions, perceived health status, physical, work, and social limitations. Four mutually exclusive groups of subjects, aged between 19 and 100, with the following most prevalent medical conditions were identified through ICD-9 codes. The study sample size for COPD, asthma, hypertension and diabetes, was 61, 373, 1,741, 415 respectively, indicating weighted sample size of 0.7, 4.5, 20.8 and 4.7 million patients respectively. Descriptive statistics and analysis of covariance adjusting for age, gender, race and the number of co-morbid conditions were conducted. Results were weighted to reflect population estimates.
On a 5-point scale with 1 being “excellent” and 5 being “poor” perceived health status, COPD patients tended to have worse adjusted health status, as compared to patients with asthma, diabetes, and hypertension (adjusted mean ±SE: 3.6±0.18 vs. 3.2±0.06, 3.1±0.03, and 2.7±0.03 respectively). COPD patients reported more overall limitations in addition to more work and social limitations than patients with other chronic diseases. Patients reporting work limitations by disease categories were as follows: COPD 100%, asthma 92%, diabetes 76%, hypertension 78%. Additionally, COPD patients tended to have more social limitations, as compared to patients with asthma, diabetes and hypertension (20% vs. 7%, 14% and 9% respectively).
The results suggest that COPD patients have lower health status and more functional limitations than patients with other chronic illnesses.
Interventions designed to manage COPD more effectively may help to improve health-status and functional ability in COPD patients.
G.P. Geba, Novartis Pharmaceuticals