Objective: To assess the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on the quality of life and economic burden in Chinese urban areas.
Methods: COPD patients (n = 723) were interviewed face-to-face in outpatient departments in 6 large cities in China. The questionnaire included social and demographic information, current health status, quality of life (SGRQ), and medical expenditure on outpatient visit, hospitalization, medicine purchasing in medicine stores in the last 12 months, and other expenditures related with COPD were also collected. All the data were analyzed using descriptive method.
Results: Of the 723 COPD patients interviewed, 73% were male and the average age was 67 years old. The average symptom score of SGRQ was 49 +/- 24, activity score 57 +/- 23, impact score 46 +/- 23 and total score 50 +/- 21, which were all higher than scores of the healthy populations. The average direct medical cost (including outpatient cost, inpatient cost, and medicine purchasing cost) was 11 744 RMB yuan annually. The direct non-medical cost (including transportation fee, nutrition fee, and nursing fee) was 1570 RMB yuan. 36% of the patients in work had an average of 17 working days lost in the last 12 months because of COPD, while 17% of their relatives had an average of 14 working days lost for caring the patients.
Conclusions: COPD has a serious impact on the quality of life of Chinese urban patients and places a heavy economic burden on their family and the society. Management of COPD should be improved for patients at stable conditions, so as to reduce the incidence and exacerbation of COPD.