The course and prognosis of different forms of chronic airways obstruction in a sample from the general population

B. Burrows, John W Bloom, G. A. Traver, M. G. Cline

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Abstract

We examined the course and prognosis in subjects selected from the general population who had chronic airflow obstruction at the time of their enrollment in a longitudinal epidemiologic study. Mortality and the rate of change in lung function were analyzed in relation to the initial clinical characteristics of the subjects. Twenty-seven subjects with symptoms and signs of asthma (Group I) had a higher survival rate and a much lower rate of decline in pulmonary function than the 45 subjects in Group III, whose clinical characteristics were more compatible with an emphysematous form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The 10-year mortality among subjects in Group III (non-atopic smokers without a history of asthma) was close to 60 percent, whereas it was only 15 percent in Group I (atopic subjects or nonsmokers with known asthma). The mean overall rate of decline in forced expiratory volume in one second was 70 ml per year in Group III but less than 5 ml per year in Group I. Forty-five patients (Group II) who did not clearly fit into either Group I or III had intermediate values for survival and decline in pulmonary function. Previous data on mortality from COPD and the rate of progression of the condition, although compatible with our findings in patients who had an emphysematous form of disease, are not applicable to those with an asthmatic-bronchitic form. Better control of the progression of asthmatic bronchitis with therapy may explain its more favorable prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1309-1314
Number of pages6
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume317
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1987

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Airway Obstruction
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Asthma
Lung
Mortality
Population
Bronchitis
Forced Expiratory Volume
Signs and Symptoms
Longitudinal Studies
Disease Progression
Epidemiologic Studies
Survival Rate
Survival
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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The course and prognosis of different forms of chronic airways obstruction in a sample from the general population. / Burrows, B.; Bloom, John W; Traver, G. A.; Cline, M. G.

In: New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 317, No. 21, 1987, p. 1309-1314.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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