Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a severe condition that leads to respiratory disability, considerably reduces the comfort of living, and affects all aspects of patient activity.
Objectives: The aim of our study was to assess the quality of life (QoL) in patients with diagnosed COPD using the health‑related QoL questionnaire, EQ‑5D, as a research tool.
Patients and methods: A cross‑sectional survey was conducted in a large group of patients with COPD (n = 9310). The data were obtained using a specially designed questionnaire.
Results: The majority of the study population were patients with mild and moderate COPD (stage 1 and 2 according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, 16% and 54%, respectively). Lower QoL, reported by patients, was shown for each stage of the disease, including patients with mild‑to‑moderate COPD. Significant differences were observed between the groups of patients stratified by spirometry results in the perceived health state assessed using the questionnaire and the visual analogue scale (VAS), and the results of the EQ‑5D correlated with those of the VAS. We observed a statistically significant effect of comorbidities (especially heart failure) and severe (or very severe) COPD on the health status reported by patients (linear regression model, P < 0.001). Patients with history of exacerbations had higher VAS scores (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The EQ‑5D along with VAS seems to be a useful tool in assessing the health status of patients with COPD. Of note, significant limitations affecting the various aspects of patients' lives were reported also in milder stages of COPD.