A factor analysis of dyspnea indexes and lung function parameters in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2001;43(3):27-31.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the correlation between dyspnea ratings and a large group of lung function parameters, and extract those factors that best reflect the functional profile of patients with COPD using factor analysis. Ninety nine patients with COPD in stable clinical condition (age 60 +/- 8 years, ATS score = 2.5 +/- 0.9, FEV1% pred. = 33 +/- 13%) were included in the study. The factor analysis of the results yielded 5 factors which accounted for 80.1% of the total variance of the changes. The highest coefficients found between the factors and the original group of variables after Varimax rotation are given in the following table: Factor 1: Oxygen-cost diagram: 0.92; ATS dyspnea score: -0.80; TL,CO/VA: 0.78; Factor 2: FEV1% pred.: 0.87; FEV1/VC%: 0.86; FEV1L: 0.79; Factor 3: MIF50% pred.: 0.85; FIV1% pred.: 0.76; PImax: 0.67; Factor 4: PaCO2: -0.81; SaO2: 0.77; Mean pulmonary arterial pressure: -0.67 Factor 5: Age: 0.88; Six minutes walk distance: -0.72 The factor analysis showed that the functional profile of COPD patients has several dimensions. Therefore, in order to have COPD comprehensively evaluated, assessment of dyspnea and the respective set of lung function parameters (exercise capacity, forced inspiration and pulmonary hemodynamics), should be included in the battery of tests, besides the conventional tests.

MeSH terms

  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*