Low energy levels could predict risk of hospitalisation for people with COPD

June 13, 2012

Reports of low energy levels or feelings of fatigue could be used to predict risk of hospitalisation for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study published online ahead of print in the European Respiratory Journal.

The findings of the study could be used by doctors to help reduce the number of admissions to hospital for people with COPD, which could lead to improvements in quality of life and a reduction in the economic impact of the disease.

Fatigue has been reported as the second most prevalent symptom of COPD, after breathlessness. Symptoms of fatigue can be both physical and mental and include a lack of energy or a loss of concentration.

To investigate the link between fatigue and COPD, the researchers assessed 83 people attending a clinic to manage their condition. Participants completed a about their feelings of fatigue. Using the results from the questionnaire, unit scores from 0-10 were generated showing participants' experience of fatigue with a higher score equating to greater fatigue.

The researchers also measured breathlessness and levels of , along with hospital records for a period of 20 months.

The results showed people reporting the most severe levels of fatigue were the most likely to be hospitalised. Compared to the lowest third of patients, the third of patients reporting the most intense scores on fatigue impacts showed a 13.6-fold increase in risk of hospitalisation within 20 months.

The length of hospital stays also increased by a factor of almost 4 for each unit increase in patients' reports of fatigue experiences.

The findings suggest that reported levels of fatigue are associated with the severity of COPD. The study also shows that fatigue is also a strong predictor of for people with COPD.

Lead author of the study, Dr Johanna Paddison, from the Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, said: "There has been little research into the clinical significance of reports of fatigue. Our study has helped to show that patient's experiences of fatigue could be used as a predictor of hospital admissions. As hospitalisations for COPD can impact upon quality of life and have economic consequences, the results of this study have significant implications for the management of COPD."

Explore further: Web-Based program helps manage cancer-Related fatigue

More information: Fatigue in COPD: association with functional status and hospitalisations, J.S. Paddison, T.W. Effing, S. Quinn and P.A. Frith, DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00021412

Related Stories

Web-Based program helps manage cancer-Related fatigue

March 13, 2012
(HealthDay) -- An Internet-based educational program helps disease-free cancer survivors better manage their cancer-related fatigue (CRF), according to research published online March 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Assessment of COPD exacerbation severity with the COPD Assessment Test

January 27, 2012
Exacerbation severity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be reliably assessed with the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), according to a new study from the UK.

Children exposed to cigarette smoke have increased risk of COPD in adulthood

March 15, 2012
A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that children who are exposed to passive smoke have almost double the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood compared with non-exposed ...

Pulmonary rehabilitation and improvement in exercise capacity improve survival in COPD

May 21, 2012
Pulmonary rehabilitation and improvement in exercise capacity significantly improve survival in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study from the UK.

Increased levels of fatigue and perfectionism are found in patients with functional dysphonia

June 1, 2011
Fatigue and poor health, anxiety and depression (physiological, affective and cognitive factors) may have a major impact on patients with functional dysphonia (FD), leading to time off work, reduced activity, and social ...

Recommended for you

Lactic acid bacteria can protect against Influenza A virus, study finds

December 13, 2017
Lactic acid bacteria, commonly used as probiotics to improve digestive health, can offer protection against different subtypes of influenza A virus, resulting in reduced weight loss after virus infection and lower amounts ...

Aging impairs innate immune response to flu

December 13, 2017
Aging impairs the immune system's response to the flu virus in multiple ways, weakening resistance in older adults, according to a Yale study. The research reveals why older people are at increased risk of illness and death ...

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection

December 13, 2017
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, today announced results of two papers published in the peer-reviewed journals PLOS ONE and American Journal of Pathology, that seem to support ...

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

New compound stops progressive kidney disease in its tracks

December 7, 2017
Progressive kidney diseases, whether caused by obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or rare genetic mutations, often have the same outcome: The cells responsible for filtering the blood are destroyed. Reporting today in Science, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.