COPD is a major cause of all-cause mortality. We examined predictors of 1-year mortality in patients with severe COPD and major depression after inpatient treatment in a rehabilitation hospital.
We screened 898 consecutively admitted patients. Of these, 138 patients received the diagnoses of COPD according to American Thoracic Society Guidelines and major depression by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition and signed consent; 67 were randomized to a treatment adherence enhancement intervention and 71 to usual care. We assessed history of falls, dyspnea-related disability, severity of depression, medical burden, and cognitive functioning. Following discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, participants were prospectively followed, and mortality was ascertained over 52 weeks from hospital notes and reports of primary care physicians and relatives.
One-year, all-cause mortality was 22% (31 of 138). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that history of falls in the 6 months preceding hospital admission was the strongest predictor of mortality (OR, 3.05; 95% CI, 1.40-6.66; P < .005). Dyspnea during activities (Pulmonary Functional Status and Dyspnea Questionnaire-Modified domain) was also associated with mortality (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08; P < .002). Depression severity, medical burden, and cognitive impairment were not predictors of mortality.
Recent falls and dyspnea during activities identify subgroups of depressed patients with COPD at increased risk for all-cause mortality. These subgroups are in need of clinical attention and follow-up and can serve as targets for prevention research aiming to inform clinical strategies and public health planning.