Background and objective: AM3 is an immunomodulator that significantly improves the quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study examined the effect of AM3 on the quality of life of patients in different risk groups and identified the factors associated with change in this variable.
Patients and method: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving parallel groups of patients. The duration of the trial was 6 months. The study involved 253 patients with a mean (standard deviation) age of 67.7 (8.1) years and a mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of 49.7% (10.2%).
Results: Only 121 patients (47.8%) suffered at least one exacerbation during the 6 months period. At the end of the study period, the improvement in St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score in those patients who suffered an exacerbation but who received AM3 was significantly greater than that experienced by similar placebo-treated patients (-8.10 compared to -2.5 units; p=0.034). Patients treated with inhaled corticoids also improved more with AM3 than with placebo (-9.17 compared to -4.44; p=0.035). In the 108 patients with an FEV1 of <50%, the improvements were not significantly different (-9.57 vs. -6.57; p=0.23). The factors influencing the change in SGRQ score were baseline SGRQ (p<0.001), exacerbations (p<0.008), an FEV1 of <50% (p<0.032) and treatment with AM3 (p<0.004).
Conclusions: Among the patients who experienced exacerbations, treatment with AM3 helped prevent the deterioration of their quality of life. Along with AM3 treatment, the factors that independently influenced the change in SGRQ score were suffering from an exacerbation and poorer pulmonary function.