We evaluated the frequency of exacerbations and hospitalizations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who continue to smoke.: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of the COPD patients treated in Chest Diseases Clinic of Kocaeli University School of Medicine in 2007-2013. Their demographic characteristics, smoking status (non-smoker, current smoker, ex-smoker), Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and history of COPD exacerbation and hospitalizations were evaluated. The cases of 120 patients (11 females, 9.2%; 109 males, 90.8%) were analyzed. Sixteen (13.3%) of the patients were current smokers, and 104 patients were ex-smokers (n=99) or non-smokers (n=5). The mean age was 69.7±7.9 years in the ex-smokers and 62.94±6.8 years in the current smokers. There were no significant differences between the current and ex-smokers regarding smoking history, FEV1 value, frequencies of exacerbations and hospitalization per year, or duration of follow-up. The initial stage of the COPD and the frequency of exacerbations were significantly correlated (p=0.003). The CCI values were significantly higher in the ex-smokers compared to current smokers (p=0.02). A correlation analysis of age, hospitalization and CCI revealed that age was significantly correlated with the hospitalization rate (p=0.02). Older age and the presence of comorbidities in ex-smokers might explain the similar rates of exacerbation and hospitalization between these current and ex-smokers.
Keywords: COPD; age; exacerbation; hospitalization; smoking.