Background: The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Assessment Test (CAT) is a concise health status measure for COPD. COPD patients have a variety of comorbidities, but little is known about their impact on quality of life. This study was designed to investigate comorbid factors that may contribute to high CAT scores.
Methods: An observational study at Keio University and affiliated hospitals enrolled 336 COPD patients and 67 non-COPD subjects. Health status was assessed by the CAT, the St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and all components of the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36-Item (SF-36) version 2, which is a generic measure of health. Comorbidities were identified based on patients' reports, physicians' records, and questionnaires, including the Frequency Scale for the Symptoms of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Dual X-ray absorptiometry measurements of bone mineral density were performed.
Results: The CAT showed moderate-good correlations with the SGRQ and all components of the SF-36. The presence of GERD, depression, arrhythmia, and anxiety was significantly associated with a high CAT score in the COPD patients.
Conclusions: Symptomatic COPD patients have a high prevalence of comorbidities. A high CAT score should alert the clinician to a higher likelihood of certain comorbidities such as GERD and depression, because these diseases may co-exist unrecognized.
Trial registration: Clinical trial registered with UMIN (UMIN000003470).