Quality of life in acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis: results from a German population study

Respir Med. 2002 Jan;96(1):39-51. doi: 10.1053/rmed.2001.1208.


This study reports on data from a study conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany examining the quality of life (QoL) of patients with chronic bronchitis (CB) and its acute exacerbations (AECB). Data from 320 patients were collected at AECB and subsequently during a stable phase (non-AECB) utilizing the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). As expected, the QoL of CB patients was poor, even at non-AECB, with patients reporting lower scores than patients with other chronic conditions. Patients reported significantly poorer QoL at AECB than at non-AECB. After adjusting for the severity of the underlying condition, poorer QoL at AECB was significantly and independently associated with older age, unemployment, increasing BMI, increasing number of prior AECBs, and Anthonisen AECB grade. While younger subjects reported significantly greater deterioration in QoL at AECB, the factors most consistently and independently associated with relative QoL deterioration at AECB were the number of prior AECBs and exposure to air pollution at home. In conclusion, this study highlights the detrimental effect of CB, and in particular AECB, on QoL. The association between QoL and patient reports of previous AECB number and air pollution are consistent with reports from other studies.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Pollution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bronchitis, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Bronchitis, Chronic / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recurrence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment