Objective: To study the mortality and quality of life (QOL) of survivors at 6 yrs after intensive care unit (ICU) admission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Design: Prospective, multiple-center cohort study.
Setting: A total of 86 ICUs throughout Spain.
Patients: Patients in the Project for the Epidemiological Analysis of Critical Care Patients (PAEEC) project with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were included.
Measurements and main results: The sample comprised 742 patients; 508 of them were admitted for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 379 of these required intermittent positive-pressure ventilation. The mean age of the patients was 65.2 +/- 9.89 yrs, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III score was 66.6 +/- 21.04; preadmission QOL questionnaire score was 7 +/- 4.82 points, and hospital mortality was 31.8%. At 6 yrs, 32.2% had died after hospital discharge, 21.6% could not be traced, and 107 patients were alive (18.3% of the 582 followed-up patients). QOL of survivors was worse than preadmission (6.55 +/- 5.6 vs. 4.92 +/- 4.5 points, p < .05), but 72% of patients were self-sufficient. Among the 379 patients admitted to the ICU for acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation and requiring intermittent positive-pressure ventilation, 36.7% died in the hospital; at 6 yrs after hospital discharge, 31.4% had died, 18.7% could not be traced, and 50 patients (16.2% of followed-up patients) were alive. Multivariate analysis with logistic regression showed that the mortality at 6 yrs was related to age (odds ratio, 1.046; 95% confidence interval, 1.023-1.071), APACHE III score (odds ratio, 1.013; 95% confidence interval, 1.001-1.024), and preadmission QOL score (odds ratio, 1.139; 95% confidence interval, 1.078-1.204).
Conclusion: The 6-yr mortality of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring ICU admission is high. Mortality is mainly influenced by pre-ICU admission QOL. At 6 yrs, at least 15% are alive; survivors have a worse QOL compared with pre-ICU admission, although three quarters of them are self-sufficient.