Rationale: Little is known about the longitudinal changes associated with using the 2013 update of the multidimensional GOLD strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Objective: To determine the COPD patient distribution of the new GOLD proposal and evaluate how this classification changes over one year compared with the previous GOLD staging based on spirometry only.
Methods: We analyzed data from the CHAIN study, a multicenter observational Spanish cohort of COPD patients who are monitored annually. Categories were defined according to the proposed GOLD: FEV1%, mMRC dyspnea, COPD Assessment Test (CAT), Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ), and exacerbations-hospitalizations. One-year follow-up information was available for all variables except CCQ data.
Results: At baseline, 828 stable COPD patients were evaluated. On the basis of mMRC dyspnea versus CAT, the patients were distributed as follows: 38.2% vs. 27.2% in group A, 17.6% vs. 28.3% in group B, 15.8% vs. 12.9% in group C, and 28.4% vs. 31.6% in group D. Information was available for 526 patients at one year: 64.2% of patients remained in the same group but groups C and D show different degrees of variability. The annual progression by group was mainly associated with one-year changes in CAT scores (RR, 1.138; 95%CI: 1.074-1.206) and BODE index values (RR, 2.012; 95%CI: 1.487-2.722).
Conclusions: In the new GOLD grading classification, the type of tool used to determine the level of symptoms can substantially alter the group assignment. A change in category after one year was associated with longitudinal changes in the CAT and BODE index.