Background: /objective: There are no large, multi-centre studies of Australians with bronchiectasis. The Australian Bronchiectasis Registry (ABR) was established in 2015 to create a longitudinal research platform. We aimed to describe the baseline characteristics of adult ABR participants and assess the impact of disease severity and exacerbation phenotype on quality of life (QoL).
Methods: The ABR is a centralised database of patients with radiologically confirmed bronchiectasis unrelated to cystic fibrosis. We analysed the baseline data of adult patients (≥18 years).
Results: From March 2016-August 2018, 799 adults were enrolled from 14 Australian sites. Baseline data were available for 589 adults predominantly from six tertiary centres (420 female, median age 71 years (interquartile range 64-77), 14% with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection). Most patients had moderate or severe disease based on the Bronchiectasis Severity Index (BSI) (84%) and FACED (59%) composite scores. Using Global Lung function Initiative-2012 reference equations, the majority of patients (48%) had normal spirometry; only 34% had airflow obstruction (FEV1/FVC < LLN). Disease severity scores (BSI and FACED) were negatively correlated with QoL-Bronchiectasis domain scores (rs between -0.09 and -0.58). The frequent exacerbator phenotype (≥3 in the preceding year) was identified in 23%; this group had lower scores in all QoL-B domains (p ≤ 0.001) and more hospitalisations (p < 0.001) than those with <3 exacerbations.
Conclusions: The largest cohort of Australian adults with bronchiectasis has been described. Using contemporary criteria, most patients with bronchiectasis did not have airflow obstruction. The frequent exacerbation trait connotes poorer QoL and greater health-care utilisation.
Keywords: Bronchiectasis; Exacerbations; Phenotype; Quality of life; Registry; Respiratory function tests.
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