Breathlessness and incidence of COPD, cardiac events and all-cause mortality: A 44-year follow-up from middle age throughout life

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Abstract

Background Breathlessness is prevalent in the general population and may be associated with adverse health outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the association of breathlessness with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) events, cardiac events and all-cause mortality from middle-age throughout life. Methods Breathlessness was measured in 699, 55-year old men residing in Malmö, Sweden using modified Medical Research Council (mMRC). COPD events (hospitalisation, death or diagnosis) cardiac events and all-cause mortality was assessed using The Swedish Causes of Death Register and Hospital Discharge Register. Data was analyzed using Cox- and competing risks (Fine-Gray) regression analysis. Results 695 (99%) of 699 participants died and four emigrated during follow up. Eighty-seven (12%) had mMRC = 1 and 19 (3%) had mMRC2. Breathlessness was associated with COPD events; adjusted Sub-Hazard Ratio 2.1 (95% CI, 1.2–3.6) for mMRC = 1 and 7.5 (2.6–21.7) for mMRC 2 but not associated with cardiac events when adjusting for competing events and confounding. Breathlessness was associated increased all- cause mortality (Hazard Ratios of 1.4 (1.1–1.7) (mMRC = 1) and 3.4 (2.1–5.6) (mMRC 2)). Conclusion Breathlessness is associated with increased risk of COPD events and increase in all-cause mortality from age 55 until death.

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  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0214083
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 18
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes