UK study finds raising frequency of COPD flare ups increases risk of death

pharmafile | April 26, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

The EXACOS UK study in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), funded by AstraZeneca, has shown that an increasing frequency of exacerbations or ‘flare ups’, can increase the risk of subsequent flare ups, which causes a spiral of disease progression, and leads to an increased risk of death. COPD is the fifth most common cause of death in the UK.

Commenting on the study findings, Carol Stonham MBE, Respiratory Senior Nurse Practitioner, NHS Gloucestershire CCG and Executive Chair of the Primary Care Respiratory Society said: “This study highlights the importance of each and every COPD exacerbation. Ultimately, every exacerbation counts. Due to existing treatment guidelines, too often we wait for patients to get worse or have a flare up before we optimise their treatment – this is a failure-based approach and must change. More needs to be done to ensure the system is set up to enable a proactive, preventative approach to allow for more ambitious treatment goals, like reducing the mortality risk.”

COPD is a progressive disease and places a significant burden on healthcare, with over 70% of people living with COPD experiencing at least one moderate or severe flare up within three years of diagnosis.

COPD is the second largest cause of emergency hospital admissions in the UK, with recorded admission rates higher than the majority of other European countries.

“The EXACOS study is a step forward in our understanding of the impact of COPD flare ups for patients in the UK” said Yang Xu, Head of Medical Affairs, Respiratory at AstraZeneca UK. “We have evidence to demonstrate that even a single moderate event increases the risk of future events.  Furthermore, a history of increased frequency and severity of flare ups was associated with an increased risk of future flare ups and death. This makes the case for a more proactive approach to prevent every flare up, even moderate ones, which will require system wide changes in COPD care. It is also vital that people are aware of the importance of seeing their doctor if they have a flare up. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with patient groups, clinicians and the NHS to achieve the best outcomes for people with COPD.”

Ana Ovey

Related Content

No items found

Latest content