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A Descriptive Study of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Tertiary Care Clinics of a Caribbean Island



Objective: To determine the relationship between severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and quality of life as well as COPD’s correlation with depressive symptoms in West Indian subjects.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional, observational study of outpatients with COPD in tertiary care. The severity of COPD was determined by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage, GOLD group, and body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnoea and exercise capacity (BODE) index. Quality of life was assessed by the St George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT), and depression was assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).

Results: A total of 105 patients (85.7% male, 37.1% Indo-Trinidadian, 42.9% Afro-Trinidadian, 64.8% primary level education) were recruited with a mean age of 66.9 years (standard deviation: 9.60 years). The median body mass index was 25 kg/m2; 26.7% were underweight. Risk factors identified were: ever-smokers (27.6%), marijuana (20%), biomass (81.9%), passive smoke (70.5%), occupational exposures (80%). The CES-D of 25% of the patients was ≥ 16. Co-morbidities included diabetes (22%), hypertension (29%), gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (10%) and previous myocardial infarction (15%). A total of 59% of the patients reported a monthly household income of less than US$800. Lower level of education was associated with worse SGRQ (total and impact), lower forced expiratory volume in one second, modified Medical Research Council scale (mMRC) of ≥ 2 and higher BODE index. Higher GOLD group correlated with worse SGRQ, CAT and CES-D. Higher CES-D was associated with shorter six-minute walk distance, worse SGRQ, CAT and mMRC scores, higher GOLD group and increased COPD admissions per year. Patients with a CES-D of ≥ 16 walked shorter distances. Higher BODE quartile was associated with worse SGRQ, CAT and CES-D scores.

Conclusion: Higher GOLD group and higher BODE quartile were associated with worse quality of life scores and higher depression scores. Patients in higher GOLD groups should be screened for depression. Education on COPD should be targeted at those of lower socio-economic status.

24 Nov, 2018
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e-Published: 20 Dec, 2018
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