[Impact of COPD: from disability to exacerbations]

Presse Med. 2014 Dec;43(12 Pt 1):1353-8. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2014.08.009. Epub 2014 Oct 29.
[Article in French]


COPD is a common disease characterized by health status impairment and disability that is usually progressive. Exacerbations of COPD, an acute event in the course of the disease, have effects on symptoms and patient's quality of life. Assessment of symptoms and risk of exacerbations is useful to guide strategy management of the disease. COPD disability includes different aspects. Its assessment needs to consider the classification of severity of airflow limitation, symptoms, comorbidities and impairment of patient's health-related quality of life. The rate at which exacerbations occur varies between patients. History of previous exacerbations and severity of airflow limitation are the best predictors of the frequency and severity of exacerbations. Severity of the symptoms is associated with an increased risk of exacerbations. Exacerbations increase deterioration in health status and leads to severe disability, inducing a vicious circle from disability to exacerbations. At an individual patient level, an understanding of the impact of COPD requires to assess the patient's disability, the risk of future exacerbations, and the identification of comorbidities.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / classification
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires